While Nani wants to retain seat, Rao capitalises on family image

An engrossing electoral battle is on the cards between Telugu Desam Party (TDP) candidate Raavi Venkateswara Rao and the YSRC’s Kodali Srivenkateswara Rao (Nani) in the Gudivada Assembly constituency. Interestingly, the Congress candidate is nowhere near his rivals.

While Nani is making a strong bid to retain his seat, Telugu Desam’s Rao is leaving no stone unturned to make inroads into the electorate by capitalising on his family’s clean image.

Challenge

“The TDP has gained an edge over the YSRC, with former minister and Congress leader Pinnamaneni Venkateswara Rao joining the TDP. For Nani, it will be a fight to finish, as both Raavi and Pinnamaneni consider him as their biggest challenge,” says P.S.R. Das, political analyst.

Mr. Nani was in a better position till recently, and favouring him are the local caste equations.

The YSRC is banking on SCs, who are expected to sail with Jagan. Although Kapus have a significant vote share, they are unlikely to support the TDP candidate.

The segment also has a sizeable population of Muslims, Vysyas and BCs.

However, Pinnamaneni’s entry changed the political equation overnight. His family has control over Nandiwada and Gudlavalleru mandals. “Around 20,000 votes from these mandals are expected to work against Nani,” says Ch. Rajeswara Rao, a senior citizen.

NTR factor

The fact that Gudivada is NTR’s native place continues to strike an emotional chord between the electorate and the Telugu Desam Party. Telugu Desam leaders are working overtime to strengthen the bond by evoking nostalgic feelings.

Both Raavi and Pinnamaneni families have been dominating the constituency for several decades.

Nani managed to win in 2004 on TDP ticket, bringing an end to the domination of revered families.

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