Today's Paper

Congress, Telugu Desam play it safe

Special Correspondent

Defer mayor candidate announcement

VISAKHAPATNAM: Both Congress and TDP have deferred selection of the mayor candidate till after the election of the corporators, a strategic move that brought them quite some peace, particularly in the wake of dissidence and rebellion by unsuccessful aspirants.

"There is no question of naming the mayor candidate now. He or she will be chosen only after Feb. 19 by consensus," clarified Commercial Taxes Minister Konathala Ramakrishna who is working out winning plans for Congress party in the GVMC elections.

The TDP is adopting a similar stand, according to its strongman in north Andhra and former MP MVVS Murthy. When his attention was drawn to reports in a section of the media that Nalluri Bhaskara Rao had been named candidate, he said no such announcement was made. In the case of the Congress, the decision has helped it prevent bad blood. From the beginning, the party leadership has been playing its cards well. When there were too many aspirants for the mayor's post like former MLA T. Suryanarayana Reddy, AP Technology Services chairman Koyya Prasada Reddy, and VUDA Chairman P.S.N. Raju and other seniors, the PCC did well to announce it would give the post to a BC candidate and put paid to the aspirations of senior leaders.

What surprised one was the reluctance of any of them to contest as corporators once it was clear they would not be considered for the mayor's post.

Another factor

Had they showed some patience and gladly entered contest, taking the trouble of working hard in the elections to steer themselves as individuals and also the party in the polls, they could have staked their claim towards the end once more and impressed upon the party leadership to consider their case since the GVMC mayorship is not under any reserved category. Another factor is that it has helped each candidate to fend for themselves in the elections, for, there was always the tendency the corporator candidates sought funds from the mayor nominee to fight their election, like in the case of direct election of the mayor.

Having accomplished the task of preventing all initial trouble, the Congress is flexing its muscles to bag the coveted post, what with already about half-a-dozen votes in the bag in the form of legislators and MPs in the city, a factor the TDP is already grudging.