Tough fight in Rayalaseema
General Elections: Tough Fight in Rayalaseema. A bitter fight is expected between YSR Congress and Telugu Desam party to occupy the space vacated by the Congress in Rayalaseema’s Lok Sabha constituencies.
- TDP sure of winning Anantapur, Hindupur
- Kadapa remains YSR Cong bastion
- Union Minister Kotla on winning side
Hyderabad: A bitter fight is expected between YSR Congress and Telugu Desam party to occupy the space vacated by the Congress in Rayalaseema’s Lok Sabha constituencies.
Rayalaseema has eight Lok Sabha constituencies in four districts and the Congress party always showed its supremacy in five to six seats. In 2009 Congress, led by the then chief minister Rajasekhara Reddy won five seats, Kadapa, Rajampet, Nandyala, Kurnool, Anantapur and Tirupati. TDP had won two seats Hindupur and Chittoor. Earlier in 2004 Congress swept the polls winning seven out of eight. TDP could win only one (Chittoor) LS seat.
The YSR Congress party now wants to capture all seats claiming the legacy of Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. Post-bifurcation of the state, a strong group of leaders including two sitting MPs SPY Reddy and Ananta Venkatrami Reddy had joined YSR Congress while some MLAs such as JC Diwakar Reddy, Erasu Pratap Reddy, and TG Venkatesh joined TDP. Former chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy launched his own party Jai Samaikyandhra with some former Congress leaders. It now remains to be seen which way the wind will blow. The TDP feels that it will be able to win Anantapur and Rajampet which is being contested by former union minister D Purandeswari on behalf of BJP supported by TDP. TDP is also hoping to win Hindupur Lok Sabha seat. This has always been a TDP bastion. In the remaining five seats, YSRCP appears to be going strong.
TDP had witnessed its first major success in the region in 1984 two years after the inception of the party. Later, the second wave was created by the TDP-BJP combine in the aftermath of the Kargil war. In Hindupur and Chittoor, TDP won more than four times.
Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, which was represented by YS Rajasekhara Reddy and later by his son Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, has always been beyond TDP’s reach. The TDP had tried its level best to break the monopoly of YS family and in the process tried to rope in BCs. This experiment paid dividend only once in 1999 TDP won six LS seats, Ananatapur, Hindupur, Kurnool, Nandyal, Rajampet and Chittoor seats out of eight. Of the two one (Kadapa) had gone to Congress and Tirupati to TDPs ally BJP. However, in 2004 the Congress party under the leadership of Rajasekhara Reddy bounced back and recaptured six out of eight seats. This time the TDP had thrown open its gates to Congress dissidents in almost all Rayalaseema constituencies and encouraged turncoats and gave them tickets hoping to improve its score.
With the influx of Congress leaders such as JC Diwakar Reddy, who is LS candidate in Anantapur and former ministers such as Erasu Pratap Reddy, T G Venkatesh, the TDP hopes that it will be able to prove its strength in the electoral battle. However, this seems to be giving rise to faction feuds as the date for polling is approaching. Particularly in Raptadu assembly segment of Anantapur district which is represented by Paritala Sunita. On Friday Sunita alleged that her rivals T Prakash Reddy were conspiring to foist false cases against her son Paritala Sriram who has been helping her in campaign.
Former MP Kalva Srinivasulu says TDP is sure to win two Lok Sabha seats in Anantapur district. With the joining of JC brothers in TDP the yellow party vote base has become widened in the district. It is bound to have a positive impact on the outcome of the LS elections, he said. But, YSRC candidate Ananata Venkatrami Reddy, four-term MLA, is equally confident. He says that people had bestowed faith in him for four times since he was always available to the people and stood by them.
TDP candidate BT Naidu exudes confidence that with the help of the Congress leaders and their cadre which had joined TDP, he will be able to upset the apple cart of Venkatrami Reddy. However, the TDP is facing an uphill task in Kurnool LS seat which is represented by Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy. The YSRCP has fielded a BC woman Butta Renuka from here.