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Updated: April 29, 2014 23:00 IST

No second chance here

Sumit Bhattacharjee
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Pendurthi MLA Panchakarla Ramesh Babu.
The Hindu Pendurthi MLA Panchakarla Ramesh Babu.

The Assembly segment of Pendurthi has always been a different ball game for the contesting candidates. This segment has never given a second chance to a candidate. Voters appear to experiment with candidates and go beyond the party manifesto and strength to elect the person of their choice.

It is from this segment in 1983, Pethakamsetti Appalanarasimham was elected as independent and that too against a political heavy weight like Dronamraju Satyanarayana of the Congress.

Again in 1994, the electorate opted for M. Anjaneyulu, a CPI candidate, over Congress candidate Mr. Dronamraju Srinivas, son of Dronamraju Satyanarayana.

Even Pethakamsetti Venkata Reddy Naidu (Gana Babu), son of Pethakamsetti Appalanarasimham, who was considered to be a popular leader of the constituency, could win only once in 1999 on the TDP ticket.

“We do not go by the strength of the party. The BJP-TDP tie-up is immaterial for us. We go by the strength and goodwill of the candidate,” says C. Apparao, a provision store owner.

With Congress almost out of the fray, post-bifurcation of the state, the poll battle is now almost reduced between the TDP and the YSR Congress. And both the candidates, Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy of TDP and Gandi Babji of YSRC, are known faces and were in the fray in 2009 elections, only to be defeated by Panchakarla Ramesh Babu of Praja Rajyam Party.

In this election the public opinion is divided. Mr. Bandaru is seen as an old war horse but not very accessible to the general public. On the other hand Mr. Babji is considered people-friendly but is surrounded by people of dubious track record. And in between them comes a younger man and first time politician, Nutan Naidu of Jai Samaikyandhra Party. And this makes the contest more interesting.

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