Visakhapatnam: The ruling YSRCP has started an exercise to woo rebels who won as independents in the recently concluded municipal polls.

Independents won in four divisions. Three of them were YSRCP rebels. They include Kandula Nagaraju from the 32nd division, Villuri Bhakar Rao from the 35th division and Mohammed Sadique from the 39th division.

Another independent Appari Srividya, who won from 15th division became official TDP candidate after the former deputy mayor Malla Appala Raju resigned after filing nomination and joined YSRCP.

"I got calls from YSRCP head office asking me to return to the party. But I insisted on the development package for the division. I told them categorically that I don't need any personal favors. So far I have never met any leader," said Mohammed Sadique.

He said his division needed more attention than others since it is located in the old town facing pollution from Visakhapatnam Port. "Plus housing, bad roads, and drainage system are pressing problems of my division. Most importantly, the movement of heavy vehicles of the port needs to be stopped immediately," he said.

However, Kandula Nagaraju and Villuri Bhaskara Rao met Rajya Sabha member V Vijaysai Reddy on the insistence of Visakhapatnam South MLA Vasupalle Ganesh Kumar but they were not given any assurance. Vijaysai Reddy told the corporators that he would consult the chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy before taking any decision.

The three independents blamed MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar for not getting party nomination. Sadique said though they had better chances of winning which they proved, the MLA got the nomination for others.

"People voted for individuals having merit and not to the party," Sadique said.

The YSRCP won in 58 divisions, TD in 30, Jana Sena 3 and BJP, CPI(M) and CPI won each. After the death of Dadi Surya Kumari on Monday, the party strength stood at 57.

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