Visakhapatnam: It is not surprising to see the defections and desertions of the leaders during elections time but the number appears to be highest ever that is being witnessed by the current 2019 general elections.
The leaders, who had served their original political parties for decades, have now chosen to cross the floor that has dismayed many. Among them are former Union Minister Vyricherla Kishore, Chandra Suryanarayana Deo, former Araku MP, former MLA Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao, son of late Dronamraju Satyanarayana, and former Minister Konathala Ramakrishna who all had a three decade journey with the Congress Party. While Kishore Chandra Deo’s decision to quit the Congress did not come as a surprise but his joining the arch rival Telugu Desam Party against the wishes of many of his followers came as a shock to the latter.
Similarly Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao, a diehard Congress leader. He had waited patiently about for the Congress to regain its past glory after the 2014 debacle when it drew a blank. Realising that the situation in the Congress party had gone from bad to worse, he took the decision to switch over to the YSR Congress Party which immediately gave him the ticket to contest from Visakhapatnam South in the April 11 polls. The case of Konathala Ramakrishna is more pathetic. He left Congress, which he served for over two decades, when his close friend YS Rajasekhara Reddy died in helicopter crash. He had since sailed with Jagan till the 2014 elections and parted ways after the party’s debacle.
Recently, during a meeting with his followers, he was advised to join the YSRCP. Later, he went to the party office and met Jagan to submit a memorandum to him on the problems faced by north Andhra. Jagan welcomed him and as he took the party scarf to take him into his fold, Ramakrishna reportedly told him that he would do well to revoke the suspension slapped on him long ago, it is said. This stopped his rejoining the YSRCP and Ramakrishna is forced to declare his support to the TDP though the latter did not come out with any offers.
Similarly Giddi Eswari, who won on YSRCP ticket from Paderu (ST) last time, is now testing her luck as TDP candidate and Kidari Sravan Kumar, son of Kidari Sarveswara Rao who won from Araku Valley (ST)ton YSRCP in 2014 and crossed over to TDP, is now in the field as TDP nominee. Also, Kothapalli Geeta who won from Araku (ST) Lok Sabha
seat as YSRCP candidate, later left the party to be with the TDP. She now floated her own Jana Jagriti Party and is testing her luck from Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency.
Prominent among other turncoats in the field is former city Mayor and former Anakapalle MP Sabbam Hari, who was a bitter critic of the TDP for three full decades, is now contesting the elections from Bhimili Assembly constituency in the district. His YSRCP rival is Avanti Srinivasa Rao, who was TDP MP from Anakapalle till recently and crossed over. Sundarapu Vijaya Kumar, who was with the TDP till recently, joined the Jana Sena and is now in fray for the Elamanichili Assembly seat. Also, Pasupuleti Ushakiran who worked for YSRCP last time, is now with Jana Sena and has entered the contest from Visakhapatnam North.