Kotla fighting a lone battle in Kurnool
Kotla Fighting Alone Battle in Kurnool, The lone leader who proves to be an exception with continued loyalty to the Congress is Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy. He is fighting a lone battle for the Kurnool Lok Sabha seat.
- Fears of rout for Congress trigger large-scale desertions
- Cong loss becomes TDP gain
- YSRCP can spring surprises
The going is tough for the Congress in Kurnool, one of its traditional strongholds. Its voting share is likely to decline rapidly in the district, where the Kotla family holds sway. Its dwindling electoral fortunes are due to the bifurcation blues. The fear of a rout triggered a large-scale exodus from the party. Leaders, especially the bigwigs, who enjoyed limelight for ten years, deserted it in droves.
The lone leader who proves to be an exception with continued loyalty to the Congress is Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy. He is fighting a lone battle for the Kurnool Lok Sabha seat. He is banking on the support base built by the family especially his father, who won six times. Influence the family continues to wield is his glimmer of hope.
Reddy, who got elected in the 1994 by-election, has contributed to the development of the constituency. His “never say no” approach to people helped him in cultivating a public-friendly image. His wife Kotla Sujatamma, who is in the fray for the Aluru Assembly seat, also draws some solace from Kotla’s Good Samaritan image. He went all out to get closer to people after becoming Minister of State for Railways in 2012.
The constituency has 1,307,312 electors of which 663,127 are women. Reddys account for a small minority of this. But they have owned up Kotla, as YSRCP fielded a BC woman, Butta Renuka. Reddys have potential to tilt the balance. Any caste polarisation will lead to alienation of BCs, who have a predominant presence. Renuka has potential to spring surprises. The YSRCP is making all-out efforts to win the support of weavers in Adoni, Yemmiganur, Kodumur and Kurnool. The TDP is trying to identify with the peasant community, assuring them out of their debt trap with loan waiver.
The Congress is at the receiving end thanks to the shifting of loyalties to TDP by leaders such as T G Venkatesh, Erasu Pratap Reddy, Silpa Mohan Reddy, Gangula Prabhakar Reddy and a host of others. This loss is gain for TDP which pitted Bendula Tirumala Naidu against Kotla. He is promising irrigation to the upland areas, by arresting water pilferage by Karnataka farmers. There are 12 candidates in the fray, including one of the Jai Samaikyandhra Party.