After many decades, both mainstream Communist parties — CPI and CPI(M) — are contesting from Vijayawada Lok Sabha constituency to assess their strength and motivate their respective cadres.

The Communists, either united or after the split in 1964 (when CPI(M) was formed), have never won Vijayawada since 1952 general elections. However, Harindranath Chattopadhyaya, a Bengali poet, won the election from here as an Independent with their support.

CPI lost in all elections till 1971, the last time it was in the fray. On the other hand, CPI(M) never entered into election fray from this constituency after the party was formed.

This time, CPI(M) Krishna District Secretary V Umamaheswara Rao and CPI Rythu Sangham Krishna District Secretary S Nageswara Rao have filed their nominations from the constituency, for which the polling will be on May 7.

They are unlikely to win, but leaders from both parties say their primary aim is to strengthen their base and also assess respective strength in the coastal district.

Mr. Nageswara Rao said that this is an opportunity for his party to expose the “failures” of Congress-led UPA Government on all fronts.