The coming Assembly polls in Jaggayyapet Assembly segment, as it appears, will be an action reply of the 2009 general elections with Samineni Udayabhanu of the YSR Congress and Sreeram Rajagopal (Tatayya) of the Telugu Desam Party all set to lock their horns again. The only difference: Mr. Udayabhanu will be fighting on the YSR Comgress ticket this time instead of the Congress.
Two-time MLA Samineni Udayabhanu (1999 and 2004), then Congress candidate, was defeated by Mr. Rajagopal in 2009 polls with a convincing margin of around 9,700 votes.
This segment has a unique voting pattern and it has been a traditional fighting ground for both the TDP and the Congress. Since 1962, both the parties have registered win in this segment five times each.
And it is believed that the anti-incumbency factor plays a major role.
But, this time with the entry of the YSR Congress, it could be a fight between the TDP and YSRC.
And giving them a challenge, there is P. Venkata Rao of the Jai Samaikyandhra Party (JSP). If caste factor plays a role, then the JSP candidate can be a spoiler at the finishing line. The Congress is yet to declare its candidate.
The dominant castes in this segment are Kammas (about 42,000), Vysyas (14,000 approx) and Kapus (about 36,000). While Mr. Udayabhanu is a Kapu, Mr. Rajagopal a Vysya and P. Venkat Rao is a Kamma. The total electorate is said to be about 1.76 lakh, 10,000 more than that of the last elections.
It is believed that about 180 years ago, the town was formed by its last ruler Rajah Vasireddy Venkatadri Nayudu and the primary economy is dependent on agriculture, with cotton and chillies being the staple crops.
This apart a large number of people, especially those from the middle class, are dependent on a number of cement factories that dot the constituency. The area has rich deposits of limestone and quite a few big names in the cement sector such as Madras Cement, KCP Cements and Hemadri Cements have set up their plants.
The major problem faced by the residents is drinking water. It has been a perennial problem and successive governments have not done anything substantial about it, though there is a sanction by the World Bank to lay a pipeline from the Krishna river and a treatment plant.
The second major problem is pollution, both air and water, thanks to the numerous cement plants and limestone mines spread across the segment. The ground water is beyond palatable condition at many places.
For farmers, a number of lift irrigation projects have been pending since long. And primary problem that needs to be addressed is the insurance policy for crops, as this area is prone to un-seasonal rains and cyclones.