‘Congress rebel’ factor helps PRP win

Staff Reporter

The newly carved Gajuwaka Assembly segment springs several surprises

Outcome disappointment for CPI(M) leader

Migrated labour constitute 80 per cent of voters

VISAKHAPATNAM: The newly carved Gajuwaka Assembly segment has sprung several surprises by giving Praja Rajyam candidate Chintalapudi Venkataramiah a thumping victory on his maiden attempt relegating sitting Congress MLA Tippala Gurumurthy Reddy to third position.

Mr. Gurumurthy Reddy’s uncle, often called his `babai’ T. Nagi Reddy, a first-timer too, finished second surprising everyone. Mr. Nagi Reddy, once his main campaign manager, had turned his foe in corporation elections following denial of Congress ticket to him. He had fielded 10 rebels and got three elected as corporators to his credit, which included himself and his daughter-in-law and later supported the Congress mayoral candidate due to fractured mandate.

The Gajuwaka outcome was a big disappointment for CPI(M) district secretary Ch. Narsinga Rao who contested as Maha Kutaumi nominee. He finished fourth after PRP, Congress rebel and Congress.

The number of votes polled by the important candidates as follows: PRP 50,994, Mr. Nagi Reddy 33,087, Congress 29,547, CPI (M) 24,371, Lok Satta 8,959 and BJP 1,719.

Gajuwaka is known as a constituency of settlers with migrated labour constituting 80 per cent of total voters. CPI (M) had spearheaded several agitations over house-sites for the poor, regularisation of Inam lands, rehabilitation for fishermen displaced by Gangavaram Port and revival of sick industries.

“The credit for my victory goes to my party and our president Chiranjeevi. I thank all those who voted for me despite attempts to attach outsider tag to me,” says Mr. Venkataramaiah, who was confident of his win from the beginning.

The split in Congress vote due to rebel factor also played a key role in his win. Contrary to the expectation, the CPI (M) could not ensure transfer of votes from the Telugu Desam. In fact, TD cadres were upset over allotment of the seat to CPI (M) as part of Grand Alliance.

Role of caste

“Caste played a key role. The fielding of a Yadava as candidate for Lok Sabha also helped PRP in getting majority seats.

To be frank, there is no incumbency factor for ruling Congress and our attempt to prevent division in non-Congress votes has failed due to all these factors,” points out Mr. Narsinga Rao.

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