TRS: Solipeta Sujata, BJP: Raghunandan Rao, Congress: Cheruku Srinivasa Reddy
Aswani Kumar Eturu
The battle lines are drawn in Dubbaka constituency, where by-election is taking place, with the selection of candidates by all the three major parties. The Congress party had managed to find a strong candidate when Cheruku Srinivasa Reddy, son of former MLA and minister Cheruku Mutyam Reddy, had crossed over to the party from the TRS. He joined the Congress on Tuesday at Gandhi Bhavan in the presence of senior party leaders.
Uttam to stay put
PCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy said the candidature of Srinivasa Reddy will be announced as soon as it is cleared by AICC president Sonia Gandhi. He said he would stay put in Dubbaka till the election is over to ensure victory of the party candidate. AICC representative Manickam Tagore asked the Congressmen to take the by-election as a prestige issue and fight with all their might. Leaders of all groups were seen together in a happy mood after many months. The name of Narsi Reddy was making rounds for some days. PCC working president and Lok Sabha Member A. Revanth Reddy was instrumental in convincing Srinivasa Reddy to join the Congress. After Ramalinga Reddy’s wife was tipped as the TRS candidate, Srinivasa Reddy thought there was no point in staying back in the ruling party.
Third time for Raghunandan
Raghunandan Rao, former BJP candidate who lost to Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy in 2018, has been announced as the party’s candidate for the by-election. Rao had lost in 2014 also. The by-election is being held as a result of Reddy’s death. Rao has been nursing the constituency assiduously. However, he has to contend with the sympathy wave in favour of the TRS candidate, Sujata, wife of the deceased MLA.
Finance Minister T. Harish Rao, who has been spearheading the TRS campaign, has visited Ramalinga Reddy’s residence on Tuesday and invited Sujata to meet the people as the ruling party’s candidate. Mutyam Reddy, Srinivasa Reddy’s father, was a popular leader. He lost to Ramalinga Reddy in 2014. His family had joined the TRS later. Srinivasa Reddy jumping into the fray as the Congress candidate has made the by-election interesting although the TRS has a clear edge. But the condition of internal roads, non-payment of compensation to the farmers under Mallanna Sagar and delay in allotting double bed-room houses are some of the issues which have to be explained to the people by the TRS leaders. The polling is due on November 3.