V Prabhakar Choudhury (left) ; B Gurunath Reddy (Right)
V Prabhakar Choudhury (left) ; B Gurunath Reddy (Right)

  • YSRCP to field former MLA B Gurunath Reddy 
  • Not clear whether TDP will give ticket to sitting MLA Prabhakar or field another candidate    
  • Jana Sena chief likely to give clarity whether he will contest from Anantapur or not in Feb
Anantapur: The Assembly constituency of Anantapur is the most crucial among the 13 Assembly segments in the district in view of its location in the district headquarters. 

In 2014 elections, the main contest was between the TDP and the YSRCP. TDP nominee V Prabhakar Choudhury won the Assembly constituency by a margin of nearly 10,000 votes. 

His main opponent YSRCP candidate B Gurunath Reddy had secured 65,370 votes whereas Prabhakar got 74,704 votes. 

As 2019 Assembly elections are hardly three months away, the political scenario has changed. 

Former MLA B Gurunath Reddy, who had joined the TDP an year ago at the behest of Anantapur MP J C Diwakar Reddy with a promise to nominate him as candidate for Anantapur segment, is now back into YSRCP due to his humiliation in the TDP. 

Also, before the re-entry of Gurunath into YSRCP, former MP Anantha Venkatarami Reddy was thought to be an MLA candidate for Anantapur segment but now things have changed with the re-entry of Gurunath into YSRCP. 

The latest version is that Gurunath will be nominated for the Anantapur segment while Anantha Venkatarami Reddy will be asked to contest for Anantapur Lok Sabha seat.

It is not certain whether Pawan Kalyan will be contesting from Anantapur or from any other constituency in the district, as during his recent visit to the district he said he would give clarity on it only in February 2019. 

If he is contesting from Anantapur then all candidates will face the biggest challenge from him. 

The Balija community is quite strong in the Assembly segment with an estimated 20,000 voters, who could influence the victory of any candidate. 

If Pawan Kalyan is the Jana Sena candidate here most of the Balija votes would go in his favour as Kapu caste is an amalgamation of Telaga, Balija and Ontari, who are identified as Kapus in the coastal districts of AP. 

While it will be difficult for Pawan Kalyan to win on his own with the powerful Kamma and Reddy community pitied against him. Pawan Kalyan's presence is likely to cut into the votes of official TDP candidate as these sections voted for TDP in 2014. 

Added to this, if Prabhakar is denied party ticket and he contests as an independent, the ruling TDP would stand to lose and in the electoral war of attrition, the YSRCP stands to gain in 2019 elections.

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