YSRC firm on wresting Vizag East seat from TDP

As part of its poll strategy, ruling party appoints Visakhapatnam MP Satyanarayana as coordinator of the Assembly constituency
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

VISAKHAPATNAM: The YSRC has begun implementing a strategy for ‘Mission 175’. As part of it, the party has laid emphasis on a key Assembly segment in Visakhapatnam. With the appointment of MP MVV Satyanarayana as coordinator of Visakhapatnam East Assembly constituency, speculation is rife that he is likely to be fielded against TDP strongman Velagapudi Ramakrishna Babu, who remained defeated in the elections in 2009, 2014 and 2019 from the segment.

It is one of the four segments won by the TDP in Vizag city in the last elections though the party suffered a drubbing at the hands of YSRC in other parts of the State. So as to break the jinx and also gain a hold on Backward Classes in the constituency, the YSRC has given plum posts to three leaders of the Yadava community, one of the dominant castes, which can tilt scales in the constituency.

While a political novice Golagani Hari Venkata Kumari was made Mayor of the city, the party loyalist Vamsi Krishna Srinivas was given the MLC post. Akkaramani Vijaya Nirmala was appointed Chairperson of Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority. Both Vamsi Krishna and Vijaya Nirmala have been strong contenders for the Vizag East seat.

They have sunk differences and grouped together and pitched a united effort to get the party ticket for one of them in the next elections. As part of their strategy, Hari Venkata Kumari, Vamsi Krishna and Vijaya Nirmala even met Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and made a strong plea for fielding a candidate belonging to the Yadava community from the East segment. They even pledged united support if any one of them is given the party ticket.

However, in the latest tactical move, the YSRC leadership has appointed Satyanarayana as the party coordinator of the East constituency. This has given an indication that the MP may be fielded by the party from the Assembly segment as it wanted a strong contender against Velagapudi. The TDP could win the seat due to its hold over the electorate and the personal image of Velagapudi, who is popular as ‘Bullet MLA’ (Velagapudi used to go around the constituency on his motorcycle).

The YSRC move is likely to trigger a keen contest in the constituency as both Velagapudi and Satyanarayana are strong leaders politically and financially. Besides, both of them belong to the Kamma community. However, it has to be seen how the YSRC will placate dissatisfaction among the aspirants and win their wholehearted support for the party nominee Satyanarayana. With the shifting of Satyanarayana from the Lok Sabha seat to the Assembly seat, the YSRC needs to search for a strong candidate for Visakhapatnam parliamentary seat, an analyst observed.

Velagapudi, a three-time TDP MLA from Vizag East

Velagapudi Ramakrishna Babu won the Visakhapatnam East Assembly constituency in the elections in 2009, 2014 and 2019. It is one of the four constituencies won by the TDP in Vizag city in the last elections though the party suffered a drubbing at the hands of YSRC in other parts of the State. Hence, the YSRC is keen on wresting the seat.

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