Speculation is rife that former minister and TDP MLA Ganta Srinivasa Rao is likely to shift loyalty to the ruling YCP. There is buzz that Ganta would join the YCP in the presence of party president and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on August 16. However, there is no official confirmation about this from either parties.
Avanti, Vijayasai Oppose Ganta
Meanwhile, it is learnt that there is severe opposition to Ganta’s entry into the YCP from tourism minister Avanti Srinivasa Rao and YCP MP V. Vijayasai Reddy. In the wake of this opposition, it is learnt that Ganta had asked the CM for some assurances from Jagan and made it clear that he would join the party only if they were fulfilled.
Venting out his anger at Ganta, Avanti had already taken a jibe at him and said that the former minister was trying to join the YCP only to escape from the numerous cases filed against him with regard to land deals in Vizag. Ganta had been accused of resorting to encroachment of land in a big way in the Port City. He has also been charged with an attempt to murder too.
In 2009, the former minister was booked under Cr.No.15/2009 for attempt to murder (307 IPC), voluntarily causing hurt to the public (332), causing grievous hurt and criminal trespass and for unlawful assembly. However, this case was dropped by the TDP government during its rule in 2017, along with 22 other cases registered against the TDP leaders.
Former chairman of Jilla Grandhalaya Samstha (District Central Library) and senior leader of TDP Thota Nagesh had filed a complaint against Pratyusha Associates, the company which was once owned by the Ganta and his family, with the special investigating team (SIT) demanding a probe into the tampering of land records and land encroachment.
It was also alleged that Ganta and his ‘Viyyankudu’ Narayana, who was former minister, together tried to encroach land at Kapuluppada worth Rs 100 crore by getting it registered in the name of two ex-servicemen, upon getting CCLA orders. A SIT probe was also demanded by the YCP which was in the Opposition then.
Give and take
In the wake of all these cases and the numerous properties Ganta and his family own in and around Vizag, it is necessary that Ganta try to get into the ruling party. Moreover, now with the city being elevated as the Executive Capital, the value of his properties would also increase and he has to protect them which he can do tactfully, if he has the support of the ruling YCP.
On the other hand, the YCP also needs a strong leader in Vizag, after declaring it as one of the three capitals of Andhra Pradesh. Since long, the two MLAs from the city had been having a turf war. In the TDP regime, ex-minister Ayyannapatrudu and Ganta used to be at loggerheads over every issue. Now, Avanti is already opposing Ganta.
Despite these differences and many other issues, the YCP needs a strong leader in Vizag and Ganta too needs the support of the ruling party to tide over the troubles he could face with respect to the land deal cases.