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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Spotlight: Rivals say ‘Sankardada Zindabad’

Vijayawada: With the much-awaited ‘Sankardada Zindabad’ having released here on Friday to huge fan frenzy, speculation over megastar Chiranjeevi’s political ‘arangetram’ is back in focus. And if people thrive on such speculations, will our netas be far behind?

It was no surprise that the hot-bed of the caste politics in the state —Vijayawada—was packed with flex banners and posters of Chiru to coincide with the film’s release.

But what raised eyebrows was the unflinching zeal of the followers of Devineni Nehru’s son Avinash to put up banners and posters of Chiru all over the city.

Senior Congress legislator, Nehru, is a known representative of Kammas in the district, while Chiru belongs to the Kapu community.

In fact, it was caste politics which sowed the seeds of a feud between Nehru and late MLA Vangaveeti Ranga about a decade ago.

While Nehru represents the powerful Kammas, Ranga was the vanguard for Kapus in the region. Vijayawada city, for long, faced the brunt of the caste wars between these two strong communities. While a majority of the Kammas support the Telugu Desam Party, their rivals plunged into politics by joining the Congress. After the split in the Telugu Desam Party in 1995, Nehru joined the Congress and presently represents Kankipadu constituency.

Meanwhile, Ranga’s son Radha too got elected as an MLA from Vijayawada east constituency. Both these arch rivals have now joined hands in the party to take on the local MP Rajagopal.

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