Rebels gave sleepless nights for official candidates of different political parties, especially the ruling YSR Congress Party, on the penultimate day for withdrawal of nominations for the March 10 elections to the Ongole Municipal Corporation.
Only 11 candidates withdrew their nominations on Tuesday leaving 464 candidates in the fray for the 50 divisions in State Energy Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy’s home Assembly constituency of Ongole.
Rebel trouble was more for the YSRCP, which had an edge over other parties in the elections to the urban local body formed in the year 1876, as only 7 of YSRCP candidates withdrew their nominations.
Heightened suspense prevailed as the Minister and his son B. Praneeth Reddy burnt midnight oil to convince the rebels to withdraw from contest by Wednesday, the dateline for withdrawal of nominations, by promising to accommodate them suitably later.
“Everything will fall in line in time,” said YSRCP city unit president S.Venkat Rao.
Suspense over the YSRCP Mayoral candidate ended as Dara Padma, daughter of former MLA Dara Sambaiah did not enter the fray, bettering the chances of the party women’s wing leader Gangada Sujatha for the coveted post.
A candidate each belonging to the Telugu Desam Party and the Jana Sena Party withdrew their nominations on Tuesday.
Former TDP MLA Damarcharla Janardhan camped in the city overseeing the campaigning by party candidates. Mr. Janardhan, along with party Ongole Lok Sabha unit in-charge N.Balaji left no stone unturned to improve the fortunes of the party nominees by highlighting the development initiatives when the TDP was in power. The city had witnessed no development during the YSRCP rule, contended Mr. Balaji while canvassing for votes for the party nominees.