ANDHRA PRADESH

Hecitic lobbying on in Repalle

Only two contenders for civic chief post

Staff Reporter

REPALLE (GUNTUR DIST): Hectic lobbying by eligible candidates for the last few days for the post of chairperson has reached the zenith, but the Repalle MLA, Devineni Mallikarjuna Rao, is maintaining a stoic silence over the issue.

The MLA says that he will declare the name of the candidate only on Friday before 10 a.m. and by afternoon the election would be over, ending the suspense haunting the Congressmen since the declaration of the municipal results.

Many Congressmen in the town are betting on Madduri Veera Joyamma, councillor from the fifth ward.

The post has been reserved for Scheduled Caste woman and there are only two contenders from the category, the other being Pulavarthi Prameela from the second ward, whose chances are slim, according to party workers.

Traditional practice

The race for the vice-chairperson is raising everyone's hopes, as there are many aspirants. The post had been traditionally offered to candidates from the Vysya community for the past many years, irrespective of parties in power. The councillor from the 9th ward, Thunuguntla Viswanath Gupta, could be the party's choice.

The recent statement by the MLA that he would be able to protect the interests of the Vysya community had sent some sort of signal that the party might change the existing trend. There was also a widespread belief in the town that the Kapus were a neglected lot and they need to be given some representation.

From the Kapu community, the likely contender is Singam Gopinath, councillor from the 10th ward. He is the son of the former MP, Singam Basavapunnaiah. Another name doing the rounds is of the councillor from the 22nd ward, Gudavalli Babu Rao, who is also from the Kapu community.

With the MLA tight-lipped over the whole issue, the suspense is expected to be over by Friday afternoon, the time when the chairperson and the vice-chairperson would be elected.

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