Internal squabbles in YSRCP, cause of concern ahead of Assembly elections

With nine months left for the Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, rifts between YSRCP leaders are coming to the fore in certain Assembly Constituencies of the State

Internal squabbles in YSRCP, cause of concern ahead of Assembly elections

AMARAVATI: With nine months left for the Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, rifts between YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) leaders are coming to the fore in certain Assembly Constituencies of the State.

But the rifts between leaders in Gannavaram Assembly Constituency in Krishna District and Chirala have become a concern for the party. Vallabhaneni Vamsi and Karnam Balaram Krishna Murthy, who won elections from Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 2019, later quit the yellow party and joined the ruling party.

The duo extended their support to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy after observing the overwhelming mandate of people for YS Jagan's welfare activities. However, the YSRCP leaders Yarlagadda Venkata Rao in Gannavaram and Aamanchi Krishna Mohan in Chirala, who were defeated in the 2019 elections, were firm on wrenching back their turf and keen on contesting from their respective constituencies in the upcoming elections.

However, the YSRCP leadership was believed to be in favour Vallabhaneni Vamsi contesting from Gannavaram in 2024 instead of Yarlagadda Venkata Rao. Similar will be the case with Chirala, as Karnam Balaram's son and his political heir Karnam Venkatesh was appointed as in-charge of Chirala Constituency and might get nominated for the MLA seat.

On several occasions, Yarlagadda Venkata Rao claimed to contest from Gannavaram, despite Vallabhaneni Vamsi actively participating in the Government programmes. However, speculation was rife that Venkata Rao was likely to change his loyalties to TDP.

The news has gained prominence in political circles as Venkata Rao reportedly decided to extend his solidarity with Nara Lokesh who would be entering the erstwhile Krishna District on August 19, 2023, as part of his Yuva Galam padayatra.

Venkatrao, an NRI, had returned to the State before the 2019 general election and joined the YSRCP. He contested on the YSR Congress ticket from the Gannavaram Assembly constituency in Krishna district and lost to TDP’s Vallabhaneni Vamsi Mohan. However, with Vallabhaneni Vamsi becoming an associate member of the YSR Congress after the 2019 elections, Venkatrao became inactive in the party.

YS Jagan also held three rounds of meetings with disgruntled Venkatrao and even made him the Chairman of the Krishna District Cooperative Central Bank (KDCCB). Despite this, Venkatrao could not accept the leadership of Vallabhaneni Vamsi. Moreover, there were enough indications from the YSRCP leadership that Vamsi would be the party candidate for the 2024 election. With this, Venkata Rao's aspirations to contest as an MLA from Gannavaram were almost dashed.

Going by the current situation, Venkatrao had started holding a series of meetings with his supporters in every village of the Gannavaram Assembly constituency. Close sources of Venkata Rao said that he had made up his mind to leave the YSRCP and join the TDP. A similar meeting was also organised by Venkata Rao with his supporters on Sunday and a call to his cadre was expected from him anytime, regarding the shifting of loyalties to TDP.

On the other hand, the TDP also had no objections to welcoming Venkata Rao into the party as there were no suitable candidates for the Gannavaram seat after Vamsi’s exit. Though the party had appointed BC leader Batchula Arjunudu in charge, his sudden death left the party with no other choice. If Ventarao joins the party, he might attract a sympathy vote as he lost the battle in 2019 with a low margin of 990 votes against Vallabhaneni Vamsi.

Recently in Chirala of Bapatla district, followers of Karnam Balaram and YSRCP Parchur in charge, Aamanchi Krishna Mohan were involved in group clashes in Ramannapet during nominations for the by-elections for panchayat seats in Bapatla district.

Two candidates, Triveni and B Venkateswara Rao, came to the panchayat office to file nominations for the by-elections of six and nine wards in the town. When they both came across each other, the situation got tense leading to heated arguments. It further deteriorated, as the supporters of both candidates gathered and pelted stones at each other.

The police rushed to the spot and tried to pacify them to leave the place. Finally, the police cane charged and dispersed both groups. ASP Mahesh and SP Vakul Jindal rushed to Vetapalem to enquire about the situation and prevent any further incidents. Meanwhile, a lady constable, Sujatha, suffered a severe head injury and head constable Srinivasa Rao suffered a neck injury. They both were shifted to Chirala government hospital.

Following this, SP assured them that all necessary assistance and announced financial assistance of Rs 15,000. The issue was settled after the police shifted Amanchi Krishna Mohan to Pandillapalli and Karnam Venkatesh to Chirala to restore normalcy in the town.

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