Why is BJP Rajya Sabha member GVL Narasimha Rao in love with all things Vizag?

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BySouth First Desk

Published Dec 15, 2022 | 9:26 AM Updated Apr 07, 2023 | 10:22 PM

GVL Narasimha Rao at an event in Vizag.

BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao has been chanting the “Vizag mantra” for a year now. And with good reason.

Nominated to the Upper House of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh, his term will come to an end before the next general election in 2024, and GVL is looking to Vizag to help him in the next leg of his political career.

Though he has no connect to “City of Destiny” — he hails from the Narasaraopeta-Bapatla region of Palnadu and Guntur — he is, if the grapevine is to be believed, eyeing the Vizag Lok Sabha seat.

Vizag appears to be a safe bet to him as the port city has been kind not just to the BJP, but also to “outsiders” who have contest the Lok Sabha election there. It has the right mix of urban voters and a significant north Indian population.

In the 2014 polls, for instance, the BJP candidate, Kambhampati Haribabu, won the Vizag Lok Sabha seat trouncing Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s mother YS Vijayalakshmi of the YSRCP by a margin of 80,000 votes. Vizag’s first mayor, NSN Reddy, was also a BJP man. He served from 1981 to 1986 after the local civic body was upgraded to a municipal corporation.

Little wonder, GVL is now interested in all things Vizag.

In the ongoing winter session of Parliament, GVL sought the timely completion of a 400-bed ESI Hospital in Vizag. In a Zero Hour submission in the Rajya Sabha, he wanted Vizag to be developed as a major IT destination. In November, he even met Union IT Minister Ashwani Vaishnav in this connection.

Then there was a Special Mention in the House on pollution from Vizag port and how it was causing hardship to locals. He also questioned the Union steel minister about the operational and raw material problems faced by the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

His big moment was, however, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the city. It is said to be GVL who first went to Modi a few months ago with a list of centrally-sponsored programmes being implemented in and around Vizag that could be launched/inaugurated by the prime minister.

GVVL is clearly trying hard. Will the party oblige him with a ticket?