From Sanathnagar Assembly constituency, Marri Shashidhar Reddy of Congress is looking for a fifth victory of his political career and a straight hat-trick while keen on breaking the track in coming polls is Telugu Desam Party’s Talasani Srinivas Yadav.
A total of 22 candidates are in the fray from Sanathnagar in which the two senior politicians appear to be engaged in a keenly poised electoral battle. Apart from Mr. Reddy and Mr. Yadav, the other contestants include D. Vittal of TRS, Ambika Krishna of Aam Admi Party and Hymavathi Sagi of Lok Satta Party. Updated electorate of the constituency as on April 10 stand at 2,35,920 comprising 1,26,584 male and 1,09,313 female electors.
Mr. Shashidhar Reddy who holds the office of Vice-Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) first won from Sanathnagar in 1992 and followed up the victory in the elections in 1994, 2004 and 2009. In the elections held in 1999, he lost to TDP’s S. Rajeshwar. In fact, this happens to be the constituency which a quarter century back elected a Chief Minister of the State, M.Chenna Reddy, father of Mr. Shashidhar Reddy, in the year 1989. For Mr. T. Srinivas Yadav, who heads the TDP city unit, it will be the first attempt at capturing Sanathnagar Assembly constituency which is spread over residential, commercial and industrial clusters. Apart from the core Sanathnagar, it has areas such as Punjagutta, Balkampet, Padmaraonagar, Nallagutta, Ramgopalpet, Rangrez Bazar and Bansilalpet.
Mr.Yadav who won earlier elections from Secunderabad three times and was Tourism Minister in TDP government has shifted to Sanathnagar in this election and says his campaign has picked up as many of the basic amenities were left unattended to by his opponent. “The support is spontaneous and the voters are vexed with little or no development in decades,” he says. Apart from issues such as inflation, power and drinking water supplies which are common for all constituencies, Sanathangar has problem of bad roads, open sewer lines which spread health concerns among the locals, he says. Mr. Reddy, however, describes development as a continuous process and one cannot stop after solving some issues. The constituency has seen a lot of progress and orderly growth in the last decade, Mr. Reddy says adding that his works helped him build certain credibility that will be hard to breach by his opponent. At the same time, the TDP candidate blames his opponent of spending most of his time in New Delhi and not being available in the constituency. “He is not there when people have an issue and looks for his support,” Mr. Yadav avers.
Mr. Shashidhar Reddy rebuts this and quips, “I am not in Delhi to witness cockfights or on some personal business. I am with NDMA and have a national responsibility for which people of Sanathnagar are proud of”.
Also, he says a well oiled mechanism has been put in place in the constituency to take care of people’s issues. “Every issue or grievance is put into computer, followed up and solved. I am available on phone and many send an SMS and I respond with solutions,” Mr. Reddy states.