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Fighting for a cause



Bharanikana Rama Rao

"I am not fighting an election, I am fighting for a cause," says Bharanikana Rama Rao the former urban district president of TDP and the current rebel candidate for the Visakhapatnam Parliamentary seat.

Vexed with the party's attitude towards him, he pitted himself against the official TDP candidate, M.V.V.S. Murthi, whom he holds responsible for the denial of his Visakhapatnam-II ticket. He feels that injustice has been done to him despite being an educated and dedicated party worker and a man of the masses.

Born in a village near Sabbavaram in 1945, Rama Rao started his career as a teacher in mathematics in Kendriya Vidyalaya after completing his M.Sc. and B.Ed. He joined mainstream politics in 1985, inspired by the slogans coined by the TDP founder, N.T. Rama Rao, `Andhraulu ki atma gauravam' (Pride of Andhras) and `Balaheena vargala ki chaiutha' (Upliftment of the downtrodden).

On his poll strategy he says, "I am putting forward three points to the people: "First, I am targeting the party workers by sending a message and giving them the opportunity for self-introspection, that if I am given this treatment by the party after years of hard work, what is the fate of others. Secondly, every Government including the TDP promised upliftment of the downtrodden, and so far in the last five decades no party has fielded a Backward Class candidate for the Lok Sabha seat from the district. And finally the nativity factor; I am a candidate from this place and a man of the masses."

He believes in door-to-door campaigning and feels that money would not be the main criterion for this election. He is banking heavily on cross-voting by the party cadres, especially from the unhappy dissident group, which includes a few former MLAs.

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