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Devender Goud banks on `good work'

By R. Ravikanth Reddy

HYDERABAD, APRIL 11. All eyes are on the Medchal Assembly constituency in Ranga Reddy district from where the Home Minister and Telugu Desam candidate, T. Devender Goud, is seeking re-election. It is one of the keenly watched constituencies in the State.

The constituency has the distinction of sending a Chief Minister in the form of M. Channa Reddy in 1978 and those who play a key role in the State administration holding important portfolios.

The contours of the constituency present an interesting picture with some areas falling right in the city while a majority coming under the sub-urban category.

It spreads into four Municipalities -- Uppal, Kapra, Qutbullapur and parts of L.B. Nagar. Though geographically these areas fall in Ranga Reddy district they are as good as in Hyderabad city.

The constituency was formed in 1952 but merged with other constituencies in 1957. It re-emerged in 1962 and in the 10 elections held so far, the Congress won the seat six times while the TDP emerged victorious thrice. An Independent won the seat in 1962. Vandemataram Ramachandra Rao defeated the Congress stalwart, K. V. Ranga Reddy, with a margin of 1,761 votes.

Interestingly, some areas in Hyderabad district, including Medchal, were carved out as Ranga Reddy district, named after K.V. Ranga Reddy.

Since the emergence of Telugu Desam Party in 1983, the Congress and the TDP have been sharing the honours equally.

However, Mr. Goud broke it to win for the second consecutive time in 1999 with a record margin of 77,883 votes.

The only other candidate to have won two consecutive times here was Sumitra Devi of the Congress in 1967 and 1972.

This time, Mr. Goud is locking horns with the former Minister, K. Surender Reddy, who is contesting on the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) ticket.

Though there are eight candidates in the fray, the contest is confined to Mr. Goud and Mr. Reddy, who represented the constituency in 1985. Incidentally, Mr. Goud was the Zilla Parishad Chairman when Mr. Reddy was the Minister for Forests in the N.T. Rama Rao Cabinet.

Mr. Goud is harping on the developmental plank to seek votes while Mr. Reddy is raising the Telangana issue apart from targeting the youth on unemployment issue.

"I have spent over Rs. 550 crores in the last nine years and it speaks for my work", says Mr. Goud.

Mr. Reddy reminds people of the industries set up during his tenure and how the Chandrababu Naidu Government neglected the key problem of unemployment.

However, his absence from active politics during the past 10 years haunts him while Mr. Goud was in the limelight being a Home Minister and also a key functionary in the TDP.

Analysts see Mr. Goud sitting in a comfortable position with no dissidence in the party.

However, Mr. Reddy sounds confident taking into account the number of votes polled for the Congress and the TRS in the last Zilla Parishad elections.

They certainly look fatter than what the TDP polled. But he faces an uphill task of taking Congress activists along with him.


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