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The Congress patriarch



Dronamraju Satyanarayana

Politics is his passion and profession. He is regarded as the patriarch of the Congress in north Andhra and his political astuteness has earned him the sobriquet `Chanakya'. He is Dronamraju Satyanarayana, the former Member of Parliament and State Assembly.

Born in December 1933, he hails from Chinnamushidiwada in Pendurthi mandal. Dronamraju is not one among those fortunate people who had launched their political career contesting election directly for the hot seat of an MLA or an MP. But has rather started from the grassroots of village politics.

A village officer of his native place, he worked his way up in various capacities in panchayats and cooperative societies. Dronamraju got his first major break when he became the Member of Parliament by defeating his own mentor and the then political stalwart of the district, Tenneti Viswanadham, in 1977, as a candidate of the breakaway Indira Congress. Thereafter, his political graph soared under the tutelage of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, and in no time he became the king-maker of the Congress in the region. And that had earned him many foes among party workers in recent times.

After his Lok Sabha tenure, he contested election from Pendurthi and became an MLA (1980). He was also elected Zilla Parishad Chairman (1981) and as Rajya Sabha Member (1988) and nominated as Chairman of Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (1978).

At the age of 70, Dronamraju is once again trying his luck to enter the Assembly from Visakhapatnam - I. He is not only confident of winning but says that he has already chalked out the plans for development of the constituency. His key issue is urban community development and says that he has already identified a few slums for it.

Why Old Town, why not Pendurthi?

"The Old Town is the pride of this city but that is the most neglected area. I have plans for all-round development of that area including the control of the growing pollution menace, and that is the reason I have chosen this constituency over my native constituency Pendurthi. Moreover, the people still remember the work I have done as a parliamentarian and as VUDA Chairman, and they would surely vote me back to power."

His campaign strategy is to highlight the promises made by the TDP and the NDA Governments and how far they have kept them up. Though he says that he does not indulge in personal attack, he does not mince words in criticising the feel-good factor claim of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The veteran could be facing the battle of his lifetime as he is up against the sitting BJP MLA, K. Haribabu, and may be for the first time `Guru Drona' would be facing the high decibel music of party dissidents.

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