Visakhapatnam: Tourism Minister ‘Avanti’ Muthamsetti Srinivasa Rao of YSR Congress Party and former minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao of Telugu Desam Party are now engaged in a `war of words’ which has surprised the general public.
Both of them were very close friends till recently and Ganta, in fact, had guided Avanti when he was in the Praja Rajyam Party and later in the Congress and the TDP in that order. But Avanti, unlike Ganta, is outspoken and perhaps that latter’s remark that he never considered Avanti as a Minister, provoked him.
Avanti was serving Ganta while the latter had a long stint as Minister and was subjected to ill-treatment. Avanti reacted wildly and recalled how Ganta was sitting at the counter in a small mess before entering politics. This was not liked by Ganta’s followers who said such a snide comment, to say the least, was most uncharitable.
Avanti’s grouse was that though he was in the Ganta’s camp during long journey in the PRP, Congress and later TDP, it was Ganta who always dominated and marginalised him. Even during the agitation for separate railway zone when Avanti, who was then Anakapalle MP, Ganta sent word through one of the participants of the agitation to come and join a meeting convened by Ganta. “He could have just made a telephone call directly to me as he is always seen speaking on his mobile. This is no way to treat an MP,” he then lamented.
The relationship between them soured when Ganta wanted to contest again from Bheemunipatnam Assembly constituency which Avanti represented in 2009 as PRP MLA. After the duo joined the TDP on the eve of 2014 polls, Avanti was asked to leave Bheemunipatnam and contest the Anakapalle Lok Sabha seat and Ganta was given Bheemunipatnam for Bhimili for short. Avanti reluctantly contested from Anakapalle and won but he always wanted to represent Bhimili where he established his group of educational institutions and had considerable following after his stint as MLA there.
The Minister also had commented that the doors of YSRCP were closed on Ganta which saw the latter react sharply saying that `nobody could stop him if only he wanted to change political parties’.
Avanti had left TDP to join YSRCP for his political future and has been working hard since becoming a Minister. The stress of discharging responsibilities seem to have taken its toll and his outbursts is now making rounds in the social media.