Andhra Pradesh

YSRC, TDP gear up for civic poll battle

Srikakulam Municipal Corporation will have elections by the end of this year. —Photo: Basheer

Srikakulam Municipal Corporation will have elections by the end of this year. —Photo: Basheer  

Both parties expect elections early next year for Srikakulam Municipal Corporation

Elections for the Srikakulam Municipal Corporation may be months away, but the Telugu Desam and the YSR Congress have already pushed their verbal attacks against each other a notch higher, signalling the beginning of the battle of the ballot. In a bid to bag the maximum number of seats for themselves, the leaders of both parties are not letting go any opportunity to project their achievements while denouncing the failures of the opponents.

Elections to the municipal corporation, which has been upgraded from municipality status recently, are likely to be held either in December or the first week of February. Both parties are expecting the election schedule to be released by end of the year.

The city remained without an elected civic body for the last six years due to a legal tangle over the merger of nearby panchayats. Decks have been cleared a couple of months ago and the government proposed to hold elections to the Srikakulam Municipal Corporation along with 20 other civic bodies in the State. The wards’ number here is likely to go up to 50. However, the government is yet to clarify whether the election of mayor would be direct or indirect.

Exodus from Congress

In the previous election held in 2005, the Congress got 28, the TDP six and independents two, out of the 36 seats. Later, a majority of the Congress leaders shifted loyalty to the YSRC which is likely to have a straight fight with the Telugu Desam Party.

“We are expecting absolute majority whenever elections are held as people are fed up with the TDP government which could not do anything to Srikakulam in the last two-and-a-half years,” says Mandavilli Ravi, a senior YSRC leader.

Telugu Desam leaders refute the argument and claim that road network has improved and extended to every nook and corner of the city. They also claim early completion of the bridges across Nagavali river. They hope to gain by highlighting development of street-lighting and greenery in the town. The party leaders are also hopeful that a majority of the Kalinga Vysya community would vote in favour of the TDP as they have been given BC status recently.

“We could ensure overall development of the town in the last two-and-a-half years. We requested Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to provide a special grant for construction of underground drainage system and outer ring road,” says Gunda Lakshmi Devi, Srikakulam TDP MLA.

‘Minimum needs not fulfilled’

Srikakulam Citizens Forum president Baratam Kameswara Rao, however, alleges that the public representatives failed to ensure minimum needs to the people and hence have no right to seek votes in the election. “Twenty-four-hour water supply continued to be only on paper. With the lack of drainage system, many diseases are spreading in the town. There is no proper mechanism to lift the garbage. Moreover, civic body imposed huge property tax on the people without providing basic amenities. As a responsible organisation, we will definitely highlight these issues in the election,” he adds.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 10:38:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/YSRC-TDP-gear-up-for-civic-poll-battle/article14636393.ece

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