Will Naidu repeat 2009 magic?
Will Naidu Repeat 2009 Magic? This time the YSRCP in a calculated move is playing the caste card by fielding a retired IAS officer K Chandramouli, solely keeping in view the strength of Vannikula Kshatriya community.
Tirupati: The YSRCP is making a determined bid to breach the TDP citadel Kuppam from where Chandrababu Naidu is winning consecutively since 1989. This time the YSRCP in a calculated move is playing the caste card by fielding a retired IAS officer K Chandramouli, solely keeping in view the strength of Vannikula Kshatriya community, to which the YSRCP candidate belonged to and which is nearly 50 per cent of the total votes in the constituency.
It is pertinent to note that the party even taking the risk of antagonising its constituency in-charge M Subrahmanyam Reddy, who aspired the party ticket to contest Kuppam Assembly and facing the non-local factor (as Chandramouli though a native of the area for long away from it), preferred to play the caste card firmly believing that this would help the party achieve its desired objective.
Subramanyam Reddy who was former ZP chairman, having a good following and well known in the constituency, fought thrice unsuccessfully in 1999, 2004 and 2009 against Chandrababu Naidu was disappointed when the party set him aside to get a new broom Chandramaouli to sweep away Chandrababu. On his part, Chandramouli is not leaving any stone unturned for his victory. He has been intensively electioneering in the Assembly segment having four mandals including Kuppam, Ramakuppam, Gudipalli and Santhipuram having a total electorate of 1,95,800. YSRCP wants to hit not one bird but three at a time by playing the caste card. First, to win the seat, second reduce Chandrababu Naidu victory margin as much as possible to score a moral victory on Naidu the arch rival of YSRCP in the state and third, at least reduce the TDP (MP candidate votes) votes in Kuppam to affect TDP get Chitoor parliament seat.
Apart from the caste card, YSRCP is also banking on the aversion of the people against local TDP leaders and also first time voters, hoping that the young prefer a new and youthful Jaganmohan Reddy and also its vote bank including Reddys, SCs and minorities. Chandrababu won from Kuppam in 1989 with a margin of about 7,000 and could increase it to 56,588 in 1994 and further to 65,687 in 1999. He could hold on more or less the same margin of about 60,588 in 2004 but it went down to 46,066 in 2009. It is a million dollar question now whether Naidu maintain the same margin or not. Of course it will be known on May 16.
However, TDP is confident of holding the same majority and even improve it further, arguing that Chandrababu Naidu popularity has been increasing state wide and his vote base in Kuppam is intact. Further, the denial of ticket to a local Subrahmanyam Reddy who is halfheartedly working for YSRCP will help TDP increase its vote. However, the TDP which is not in a position to take any risk, stepped up its campaign.
Nara Lokesh who had already campaigned after filing his father’s nomination paper, visited Kuppam on Saturday and took up extensive campaign in support of his father. Party sources said that, Naidu, too, constantly in touch with local leaders monitoring the party campaign and also the arrangement for the polling day indicating that he is not taking the YSRCP tactics lightly.