TDP banks on Yerran popularity in Srikakulam
TDP Banks on Yerrannaidu Popularity in Srikakulam. Sentiment is set to rule the roost in the land of agitations. At a time when people expected stiff contest between the three major parties for the Srikakulam Lok Sabha seat
Srikakulam: Sentiment is set to rule the roost in the land of agitations. At a time when people expected stiff contest between the three major parties for the Srikakulam Lok Sabha seat, a large number of leaders from the Congress joined YSR Congress Party due to the bifurcation of the State, dealing a major blow to the Congress. However, YSRCP candidate’s lack of experience in the political arena is likely to weigh in favour of the Telugu Desam Party. With late K Yerrannaidu’s son Ram Manohar Naidu, a youth, entering the fray, analysts say that voters in the district are bound to go by sentiment, indicating bright chances for the TDP.
There are 19 lakh voters in the 19 constituencies in the district and recently, 23,000 more people enrolled as voters. The enrolment process is still on. Rajam and Etcherla constituencies are part of the Vizianagaram Parliamentary constituency and Palakonda is part of the Araku constituency. The remaining seven – Ichchapuram, Palasa, Tekkali, Narasannapeta, Srikakulam, Amadalavalasa and Pathapatnam – comprise the Srikakulam Parliamentary constituency.
Ever since the formation of TDP, Srikakulam has been its stronghold. Prior to 2009 elections, Srikakulam had 12 constituencies, but it lost two constituencies after delimitation. From 2004, Dharmana Prasada Rao has been wielding influence in the district. While the Congress won seven Assembly seats in 2004, it was able to wrest nine of the 10 seats in 2009 elections. Despite the Congress continuing its winning streak, the people reposed faith in the Telugu Desam Party when it came to the Lok Sabha seat. TDP stalwart Yerrannaidu faced defeat for the first time in the 2009 elections, losing to Killi Kruparani.
The untimely death of Yerrannaidu left a vacuum in the district unit of TDP. As Killi Kruparani, Dharmana Prasada Rao, Satrucherla Vijayarama Raju and Kondri Murali are from the same district, the Congress became a formidable force. The indictment of Dharmana Prasada Rao as an accused in the disproportionate assets case of Jaganmohan Reddy and his subsequent resignation had a major impact on the party. The YSRCP got a major boost with Dharmana joining the party. Satrucherla’s quitting the Congress and joining the TDP was the last straw. TDP leader Ram Manohar Naidu has already completed the first phase of campaigning by undertaking a bicycle tour from Ichchapuram to Pathapatnam and meeting the people in the villages. Killi Kruparani is likely to be the Congress candidate this time also as a majority of the party cadres joined YSRCP along with Dharmana Prasada Rao. Bifurcation of the State had dealt a heavy blow to the Congress in Seemandhra. As the YSRCP leadership has decided to allot the MP ticket to some other person despite the presence of senior leader Dharmana Prasada Rao joining the YSRCP, efforts are being made to bring in Reddy Shanti, daughter of Zilla Parishad former chairman Palavalasa Rajasekhar.