Visakhapatnam: Elections never on time here!
For many years, Vizag corporation was under special officer’s rule
Visakhapatnam: Except once, elections were never held on time in the 42-year-long history of Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation.
Even in the last five elections, the role of the special officer came into picture for four times when the civic body term ended.
A municipality in 1858, Visakhapatnam was upgraded as corporation in 1979 with 50 wards. Two years later, civic body polls were held for the first time. NSN Reddy, the then leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was elected as the first Mayor of Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation. He continued in the position until 1986. After which, special officer rule continued for a year. In the civic polls held in 1987, DV Subba Rao became the mayor. His five-year-long tenure lasted till 1992. Again, from 1992 to 1995, special officer rule came into force.
In 1995 elections, Sabbam Hari contested on Congress ticket and got elected as Mayor. After his tenure as Mayor that concluded in 2000, it was the first time the civic body polls were held without any delay. Later, former MLA Rajana Ramani was the Mayor and her term continued till 2005. In the subsequent years, the municipal corporation came under special officer's rule. Although the Telugu Desam Party won a majority of seats compared to Congress in 2007 elections, the Congress won the mayoral seat with the support of the independents. The corporation earned the tag of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) in 2012.
Apparently, Gajuwaka Municipality and 32 panchayats merged with the GVMC and thus the count of the wards increased to 72 from 50.
Now, with some of the panchayats along with Anakapalle and Bheemunipatnam municipalities falling under the ambit of GVMC, delimitation of wards was taken up. With this, the number of wards reached 98. In 1981, mayoral post was elected indirectly in 1981. It was only in 1987, mayor for Visakhapatnam was elected directly. The rest of the elections, mayoral post was elected indirectly. Even in the ensuing municipal polls, the mayor will be elected indirectly.