ANDHRA PRADESH

TDP candidate regrets NTR's daughter joining Congress

VIJAYAWADA, APRIL 24. The TDP candidate from Kankipadu Assembly constituency, Gadde Ramamohan, has said that it is unfortunate that members of the Telugu Desam Party founder, Rama Rao's family have chosen to join a rival party (referring to NTR's daughter, Daggubati Purandareswari, wife of Dabbubati Vekateswara Rao, joint the Congress party).

Participating in the `Meet the Press' programme, organised by the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists, he said, when pointed out that he was pitted against the Congress candidate, Devineni Rajasekhara (Nehru) who also claimed himself to be a die-hard supporter of NTR, that the very purpose of floating the TDP by NTR was to oppose the Congress. NTR could not stand the Congress and anyone joining that party would lose the right to be called his fan, he felt.

Reacting to a statement that NTR himself had dubbed the Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP as `fake', Mr. Ramamohan said he was determined to stand by the party flag, which was hoisted by NTR, irrespective of the person at the helm of affairs.

When asked to spell out his party's stand on the contentious issue of removal of the hut-dwellers from the canal bunds in the city to pave the way for the Vijaywada Municipal Corporation's proposed beautification drive, the TDP candidate said the civic body had plans to shift the hut-dwellers and undertake measures to clean and beautify the areas. "The party is bound to adhere to the official stand. But I am more bothered about the mental agony the victims would be subjected to,'' he said. To a question on his not choosing a particular constituency and strengthening his position by continuing from there, (Mr. Ramamohan had been changing his constituencies) he pointed out that it was for the party leadership to decide about the constituency from where he should contest. "In politics, one cannot afford to pursue personal interests. The welfare of the public is paramount and all of us are expected to work on similar lines,'' he maintained.

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