Subbarami fights for ex-CM
A Rajya Sabha member with four years of his term left should be the last person to be bothered about the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. Yet the flamboyant T. Subbarami Reddy is in the thick of the election campaign at Visakhpatnam, the port city that elected him to the Lok Sabha in 1996 and 1998.
Reddy is out to exact revenge on M.V.V.S. Murthy of the TDP who trounced him in the 1999 polls with a margin of over 40,000 votes. Reddy, who did not want to lose control over Visakhpatnam, a constituency he has nourished with great care, persuaded former CM N. Janardhan Reddy to contest from here.
After Reddy was elected to the Upper House, Rajgopal, chairman of the Rs 1,750 crore Lanco group was eyeing the seat, but Reddy quickly managed to get Sonia Gandhi to agree to the former CM's candidature.
Reddy, who is working like it is his own election, says that Congress will win the seat hands down. "There is no contest," he told HT amid campaigning at Gopalpatnam.
The TDP charge that Janardhan Reddy is an outsider has not gone down well though because nearly 60 per cent of the population are non-locals.
The former CM is confident of a hat trick. "Anger against the incumbent is helping me more than my positive attributes," he said, adding that Murthy has done little except expand his business during the past five years.