A fight to the finish for Pasupuleti Balaraju

Congress candidate Pasupuleti Balaraju exults at his victory in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. —

Congress candidate Pasupuleti Balaraju exults at his victory in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. —   | Photo Credit: Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Special Correspondent

He unsuccessfully contested as Congress rebel earlier and finally won on party ticket

VISAKHAPATNAM: For Congress’ Pasupuleti Balaraju, who won by a slender margin from Paderu (ST) constituency, it was a long wait on the road to victory.

Though he won in 1989 from the then Chintapalli (ST) Assembly constituency, he was denied nomination subsequently.

He tried for the party ticket every time the elections were held – 1994, 1999 and 2004 – unsuccessfully.

However, he did contest in all these elections as a rebel or independent and managed to garner consider number of votes, which resulted in loss to the party.

This time, the Congress decided to give Mr. Balaraju, who was in the news in the early 1990s when naxalites kidnapped him along with some government employees in the Visakhapatnam Agency and was released after a month or so, an opportunity again and he fully lived up to the expectations of the party.

Maiden triumph

In the case of Siveri Soma, the Telugu Desam Party candidate who won from Araku Valley, the newly-carved Assembly constituency replacing Chintapalli, it was a maiden triumph.

“The cash transfer scheme and colour TV proposed in our party manifesto, the fact that the TDP has always been supporting tribals, helped my win. My community (Konda Dora) worked hard while the Left parties fully extended their cooperation, paving way for my victory,” Mr. Soma said.

Asked how he would be able to fulfil the promise of cash transfer and colour TV since the Congress was set to retain power in the State, he said that the manifesto could be implemented only in the event of coming to power.

However, as MLA, Mr. Soma said he would do everything within his purview to the people of the constituency.

Recommended for you