Withdrawal of Congress nominee gives a new twist. Mr. Ayyanna Patrudu has been concentrating on campaigning in the rural areas as operations under Arogyasri seemed to be having their impact among voters.
“There is nothing like an easy election and every election has to be fought keenly,” says TDP leader and former Minister Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu, who is contesting from this Assembly constituency, summing up the mood.
He has been campaigning for this election for nearly four months and the municipal election last month proved a warm-up match with a fledgling YSRCP putting up a strong fight.
Narsipatnam is one of the two constituencies in the State in which the official Congress nominee withdrew from the contest in the last minute, providing a shot in the arm for the YSRCP.
As a result, Mr. Ayyannna Patrudu faces P. Uma Sankar Ganesh of the YSRCP in a straight fight.
Mr. Ganesh was a former mandal TDP president and chairman of Tandava Irrigation Project Committee and brother of film director Puri Jagannadh.
However, he is not banking on any star attraction. “I intend to bring no film stars. YSR and party president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy are our stars, and we confidently go to people with them,” he says.
Though MLC D.V. Suryanarayana Raju and incumbent MLA B. Mutyala Papa joined the YSRCP, the latter is sulking as nomination in ZPTC/MPTC election was denied to her relatives. R. Yerra Patrudu, who had contested on the Praja Rajyam ticket, also aspired for ticket. But both of them began campaigning for Mr. Ganesh as election approached.
Mr. Ganesh’s supporters say Mr. Raju is coordinating with them in the campaign.
Mr. Ayyanna Patrudu has been concentrating on campaigning in the rural areas as operations under Arogyasri seemed to be having their impact among voters.
“But in elections, the long-term impact has to be seen,” says his son Vijay.
Mr. Patrudu himself is not unaware of the way electoral politics work. In an election, 60 per cent depends on party image and 40 per cent on individuals, he says.
He hopes that his work as a legislator for five terms, as a Minister for four times, and as Anakapalle MP for once stands him in good stead. He is credited with getting degree and polytechnic colleges, a 100-bed hospital and being instrumental in getting a private engineering college at Makavarapalem.
But there are innumerable problems in villages. Narsipatnam itself faces acute drinking water shortage and there is no proper drainage, says Mr. Ganesh.
Autonagar has been promised for a long time and though a site has been allotted at Pedda Cheruvu, farmers have opposed it. If it is created, it will solve congestion and other problems as it is a motor repair hub for the neighbouring areas, say locals.
But what worries the TDP is the last minute withdrawal of the Congress nominee K. Appala Naidu. It may benefit both the parties. But the hardcore Congress voters will plump for the YSRCP, says a TDP leader.