ANDHRA PRADESH

Netizen approaches Congress

GUNTUR, MARCH 3. The Guntur District Congress Committee (DCC) received a special request from a Congress sympathiser from Atlanta (Georgia) in the United States of America (USA) and received the filled-in form through the Internet before the 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the deadline for submitting applications.

Taking advantage of the latest technology available with the party, an NRI software professional and owner of a chain of hotels in the U.S., Guruva Reddy, hailing from Gurzala, applied for party ticket from the Assembly constituency there.

"A staunch supporter of the party prior to his migration to the U.S., he has evinced keen interest in contesting from Gurzala,'' said the DCC president, Rayapati Srinivas. The DCC sold 847 application forms and received 742 filled-in forms for the 19 Assembly constituencies and 36 for the four Parliamentary constituencies. For the Tenali Parliamentary constituency, the party received 14 applications, 13 for Bapatla, five for Narsaraopet, and four for Guntur.

Meanwhile, the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) clarified that candidates intending to seek ticket from any of the parliamentary constituencies need not apply to the DCC, therefore many aspirants did not file their papers today. There are 82 aspirants for the Bapatla Assembly seat, the highest followed by the Guntur-II - 75, Tadikonda 74 and Chilakaluripet was the least preferred with only 11 applications. Prominent among the aspirants for the Guntur-II was the State Youth Congress president, T. Venkata Rao. The former Chief Minister, Nadendla Bhaskar Rao's son, N. Manohar, filed application from Vemuru and Tenali Assembly constituencies. There were four aspirants who had applied from six constituencies, the highest, and there were a number of aspirants who had applied from five constituencies. Among such applicants was the former Youth Congress leader and PCC secretary, L. Appi Reddy, who applied for five constituencies. All MLAs in the dissolved Assembly and all defeated candidates of the 1999 elections filed applications, with the single most exception of the former Repalle MLA, Ambati Rambabu.

Among the Lok Sabha ticket aspirants were Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy from the Narsaraopet Lok Sabha constituency, the unsuccessful candidate from the Bapatla Lok Sabha seat, J.D. Sheelam, from his constituency. A TDP minorities leader from Guntur, Gafar Khan, and the TDP Gorantla unit president, China Sivaiah, joined the Congress on Wednesday.