Malladi Vishnu pulls off a win

Special Correspondent

Defeats Radha of the PRP by 800 votes

Full credit goes to Chief Minister, says Vishnu

It’s a battle between justice and injustice, he asserts

VIJAYAWADA: Congress candidate in Vijayawada Central Assembly constituency Malladi Vishnu defeated Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) candidate Vangaveeti Radhakrishna by a slim margin of about 800 votes. Grand Alliance candidate Chigurupati Babu Rao of the CPI(M) was relegated to the third position. Mr. Vishnu, thus, became the first MLA to represent the new constituency.

It was a roller-coaster ride for the Congress and the PRP candidates, who were in a neck and neck race almost till the last round.

Nail-biting finish

While Mr. Radhakrishna established lead in the first round, the Congress candidate gained a lead of 871 votes in the third round. The PRP candidate turned the tables in the very next round gaining a lead of 96 votes. Mr. Radhakrishna maintained the lead in the next two rounds until Mr. Vishnu gained a lead of 300 votes in the seventh round. From then on, Mr. Vishnu maintained a slim lead until he was declared elected with a lead of a little over 800 votes.

The gap between the Congress and the PRP candidates, who were racing neck and neck, and the CPI (M) candidate, who was in the third place, gradually grew with each round to around 10,000 votes towards the end.

Mr. Vishnu gave the credit for his victory fully to achievements of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. “Dr. Reddy predicted this victory four months ago.

It was his humanitarian approach in dealing with the problems and aspirations of the people that helped the party come back to power,” he said.

Asked about how it felt to defeat the son of his former political guru Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga Rao, he said: “This election was a battle between “dharmam (justice) and adharmam (injustice).”

With the defeat of both the Ministers representing the district now – Pinnamaneni Venkateswara Rao and Mandali Buddha Prasad – Mr. Vishnu, the blue-eyed boy of Dr. Reddy, appears to have every chance of being offered a berth in the new Cabinet.

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