Visakhapatnam: The announcement of Lok Sabha member Goddeti Madhavi as the in-charge for the Araku assembly constituency, replacing incumbent MLA Chetti Palguna, has sparked widespread protests across all six mandals of Araku, revealing simmering tensions within the political landscape.
The recent reshuffling of responsibilities in the ASR district by the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRC) on Tuesday witnessed Matsyarasa Visweswara Raju being appointed in charge of Paderu. Meanwhile, Paderu MLA K. Bhagyalakshmi was assigned the responsibility for the Araku parliamentary constituency, while Goddeti Madhavi was named the Araku in charge.
Slogans such as “Jagan Muddu Madhavi Vaddu” reverberated across the Araku constituency, encapsulating the dissent brewing among the residents. The protests commenced on Wednesday morning and have persisted, gaining momentum leading up to Thursday, with mandal-level leaders calling for an agency bandh on Friday.
K. Rama Rao, an MPTC member representing Araku, expressed discontentment, labeling Madhavi as a non-local figure due to her apparent absence from the constituency since assuming the MP position. Rao emphasized the lack of any notable developmental activities under Madhavi’s tenure.
In Peda Bayulu Mandal, local leaders underscored their resolve to oppose Madhavi’s candidacy, expressing their displeasure at the party high command’s decision. They asserted that while they weren’t advocating for Chetty Palguna’s continuation, they vehemently opposed Madhavi’s selection, urging the appointment of a local leader instead.
In a symbolic gesture of protest, several YSRC members gathered at the Ambedkar statue in Araku town, donning black ribbons and vociferously expressing their dissent against Madhavi’s appointment.
Senior party leaders, including Setti Gangadhara Swamy, Hukumpeta ZTPC Matsyalingam, and Eswara Rao, conveyed concerns to the media, highlighting the YSRC’s strong foundation in the ASR district. They cautioned that Madhavi’s candidacy could potentially erode the party’s support base, citing the need for prudent decisions in candidate selection to maintain their winning streak from the 2014 and 2019 elections.
The ongoing unrest in Araku reflects the widening rift within the local political landscape and underscores the significance of community sentiments in the choice of political representatives. As tensions continue to escalate, the YSRC faces a critical juncture in reconciling internal differences while navigating the path toward electoral success in the upcoming polls.