Expect surprises from Adilabad
General Elections 2014: Expect Surprises From Adilabad. Adilabad district bordering Maharashtra has been changing with times. Till the advent of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) under the leadership of Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, the district was dominated by two Velama politicians of the Congress party.
Adilabad district bordering Maharashtra has been changing with times. Till the advent of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) under the leadership of Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, the district was dominated by two Velama politicians of the Congress party. J V Narasing Rao was the deputy chief minister and Sudhakar Rao was member of the cabinets of Jalagam Vengal Rao and Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy. The TDP was in charge of the district politics till 2004 when the Congress wave was created by YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s walkathon and more than nine years of Chandrababu Naidu who was facing anti-incumbency. Dr Venugopala Chary was elected to Lok Sabha from Adilabad and he was a minister at the Centre in charge of power sector. Since 2004 when Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) won some Assembly seats, it started calling the shots. In 2009 election, while the Congress did fairly well in the rest of the State, the Grand Alliance did well in Adilabad district. Ramesh Rathod was elected as Lok Sabha member. Of the 10 Assembly seats in the district, Adilabad, Boath, Khanapur and Muthol were pocketed by the TDP and Chennur, Manchirial and Sirpur were won by the TRS, TDP’s partner in the Grand Alliance. Bellampally has gone to another GA partner CPI. While Asifabad went to the Congress, Nirmal was taken by Praja Rajyam Party (PRP).
After the demise of YS Rajasekhara Reddy, the then Chief Minister, the Telangana movement gathered momentum and reached crescendo by the last week of November, 2009 when K Chandrasekhara Rao (KCR) chief of TRS launched his indefinite fast demanding creation of Telangana State. Wilting under the pressure of the movement, TDP MLAs representing Muthol, Adilabad and Boath have joined the TRS, leader of the movement.
Adilabad (LS): KCR has campaigned in Adilabad district on Sunday addressing nine meetings in a whirlwind tour. There is no matching campaign mounted by the Congress or the TDP-BJP alliance. In Adilabad Lok Sabha constituency which is reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST), the contest is three-cornered between the sitting MP, Ramesh Rathod, who made a lot of noise in Lok Sabha at the time of the Telangana Bill being passed in the House, Geddam Nagesh of the TRS and Naresh Jadav of the Congress. Rathod and Naresh Jadav are Lambadas. TRS has strategically put up a Gond candidate Geddam Nagesh. Ramesh Rathod has the problem of anti-incumbency. Moreover, three TDP MLAs who are strong leaders had deserted the party. TDP is banking on Narendra Modi’s charisma which is prevalent only in urban areas. The Congress candidate is new to politics and is not able to make noticeable impact. Added to this, there is a rampant group rivalry in the Congress party in this district. There are 19.45 lakh voters in this Lok Sabha constituency among whom 9.73 lakh are women. There are 2.30 lakh Gond voters who are likely to vote for the TRS candidate who has a clear edge.
Even in the Assembly constituencies, the TRS is in the lead in many of the places. The Congress is in second position with the TDP-BJP in the third slot. Minority votes are critical in at least four Assembly constituencies-Nirmal, Sirpur, Adilabad and Muthol. There are about 1.8 lakh Muslim voters in the district. There are 32 thousand Muslim voters in Adilabad constituency. Nirmal and Muthol have 28 thousand each and Sirpur has 18 thousand voters. Singareni employees also have their influence in Chennur, Bellampalli and Machiriyal Assembly segments. Though Singareni employees are controlled by AITUC of the Congress party, the Telangana sentiment is very strong among the Singareni employees giving hope to the TRS. Let us discuss the latest political situation in the Assembly segments.
Adilabad: This Assembly seat is left for the BJP in the electoral alliance clinched by the saffron party and the TDP. BJP has fielded Payala Shankar. TRS has put up Jogu Ramanna while the Congress candidate is Bhargav Deshpande. BJP has a strong presence in Adilabad town. There is Narendra Modi wave to boot. The BJP which has fielded candidates in four Assembly constituencies in the district is giving tough fight to the Congress and the TRS only in this constituency. Bhargav Deshpande has to reckon with the group rivalry in the Congress party. The problems of groupism in the Congress and lack of BJP’s presence in the villages are important factors which are likely to favour the TRS. The TRS has fielded the sitting MLA Ramanna who is facing anti-incumbency. This constituency has 32 thousands of minority voters. Their attitude would be decisive for the outcome. The Congress is doing its utmost to win the minorities over. For the present, the keen contest is between the TRS and the BJP candidates.
Boath (ST): This constituency is witnessing a tough triangular contest between Thoyam Bapu Rao (TDP), Rathod Babu Rao (TRS) and Anil Jadav (Congress). Both the TRS and the Congress candidates are from Lambada community. Bapu Rao is a Koya and he is dependent on 30 thousand Gond voters in this constituency. Gond candidates have been winning in this constituency for the last three decades. Bapu Rao has close links with the tribal movements in the State in general, Adilabad in particular. TDP candidate appears to be in the lead.
Nirmal: Mirza Yasin Beg was fielded by the TDP in this constituency while the Congress has put up Maheswara Reddy and TRS candidate is Srihari Rao. Indrakaran Reddy who joined the Congress along with Vivek, Peddapalli MP, is in the fray on Bahujana Samajwadi Party (BSP) ticket. His efforts to get a Congress ticket failed. The sitting Congress MLA Maheswara Reddy is facing anti-incumbency. Former MP Indrakaran Reddy has the sympathy of the people. TRS is depending on Telangana sentiment and the support of the employees. Though the contest is keen, Indrakaran Reddy who has a positive image among the people has a chance to scrape through.
Mudhole: The TRS candidate Venugopala Chary, former Union Minister, is the sitting MLA. The BJP has put up Ramadevi. Congress party has fielded Vittal Reddy who lost in the last election by a narrow margin. Venugopala Chary is facing anti-incumbency and the non-local factor also is working against him. Vittal Reddy is known as pro-people politician who lost properties for the sake of politics. The Congress has a distinct advantage.
Khanapur (ST): Suman Rathod had won twice from this constituency. Her son Rithesh Rathod is fighting on TDP ticket. The double anti-incumbency factor is visiting on Rithesh. The rampant group rivalry in the Congress party has become a limitation for the party’s candidate, Hari Naik. These factors might help the TRS candidate Rekha Shyam Naik to win the seat.
Asifabad (ST): The contest in this constituency is primarily between Atram Sakku of the Congress and Kova Laxmi of the TRS. Marsukola Saraswati is contesting on the TDP banner. Sakku, the sitting MLA, enjoys good reputation but his followers have earned bad name in the last five years. Kova Laxmi had won as Sarpanch from Asifabad. Her sister Saraswati was fielded by the TDP. The Telangana sentiment is very strong in the constituency which may help the TRS candidate to win.
Sirpur: This is another constituency where we find a BSP candidate in the fray. Koneru Konappa accompanied Indrakaran Reddy and Vivek into the Congress party. But he was not given ticket by the ruling party. Disappointed, Konappa had followed his senior Indrakaran and filed his nomination as a BSP candidate. He is giving a tough fight to the Congress candidate Prem Sagar Rao who has to bear the lable of being non-local. His followers have reportedly been creating problems for the people. Konappa has popular sympathy. In the Panchayat election, Konappa’s followers had won majority of Sarpanch posts. Konappa is available for the people. Since Prem Sagar Rao has unlimited resources he can strengthen his campaign and give a good fight to Konappa, who appears to have a slight edge.
While the seven constituencies discussed above are part of Adilabad Lok Sabha constituency, the three constituencies being discussed below are part of Peddapalli Lok Sabha constituency.
Bellampalli (SC): This seat was left for CPI as part of the seat sharing agreement between the Congress and the Left party. Gunda Mallesh is the sitting CPI MLA and leader of the party in the Assembly. He is facing anti-incumbency factor. To add to his woes, the Congress party is not wholeheartedly supporting his candidature as it should have done honouring the agreement. There is a rebel Congress candidate in Chimukula Shankar. Paati Subhadra is the TDP candidate. The TRS has fielded Durgam Chinnaiah. TDP has no following in this constituency. The main contest is between the CPI and the TRS. Chinnaiah of TRS has an edge.
Chennur (SC): Sitting TRS MLA Nalla Odelu is again in the fray. He is facing anti-incumbency factor. Gaddam Vinod, brother of G Vivek, the Lok Sabha candidate from Peddapalli and son of former CWC member and Union Minister G Venkata Swamy, is the Congress candidate. Vinod, who was in TRS, has rejoined the Congress along with his brother recently. Ram Venu was fielded by the BJP which has limited influence here. The main fight is between the TRS and the Congress candidate. Vinod was a minister earlier and the work he did during his tenure is being recalled by him in his campaign. Add to this advantage the anti-incumbency factor bothering Odelu and the result can be imagined. It is likely to be in favour of the Congress.
Mancherial: Gaddam Arvind Reddy is a seasoned fighter. He is in the fray as the Congress candidate. He is resourceful. The TRS candidate Diwakara Rao is dependent on the T sentiment. He does not enjoy personal popularity or connectivity. BJP’s Malla Reddy is in the fray but not in the contest. The fight is between Arvind Reddy and Diwakara Rao with slight edge for the former.
The review reveals that out of ten seats, TRS is strong in four (Adilabad, Khanapur, Asifabad and Bellampalli. The Congress has edge in Muthol, Chennur and Manchirial. The TDP can hope to win Boath. The most surprising element is the BSP which might bag two seats (Nirmal – Indrakaran reddy and Sirpur-Koneru Konappa). If it happens it is the only district perhaps where BSP would have won. The BJP is in contest in Adilabad which is said to be slightly in favour of the TRS.
(With inputs from Manthaiah, Adilabad reporter, HMTV)