Dronamarju Srinivas only ray of hope for Congress in the district. The late Satyanarayana won from here in 2004 defeating BJP’s K. Haribabu, who is now president of AP unit of that party and BJP-TD candidate for Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency.
Visakhapatnam South Assembly constituency is different from the rest of 14 Assembly segments in the district. This is the only segment in residual AP in which the Congress is having some hope of its candidate winning and also where three main contestants of last election are fighting it out again.
Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao of the Congress won from here last time with a wafer thin majority of 341 votes against Kola Guruvulu of the Praja Rajyam. Mr. Guruvulu after the Praja Rajyam was merged with the Congress, switched over to YSRC. Telugu Desam’s urban president Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar finished a distant third in the last election. Though people are blaming the Congress for bifurcation of the State, Mr. Srinivasa Rao, with his friendly demeanour, by maintaining close contacts with the party workers and people of the constituency, is comfortable. Being the son of senior Congress leader Dronamraju Satyanarayana is an advantage for him.
The late Satyanarayana won from here in 2004 defeating BJP’s K. Haribabu, who is now president of AP unit of that party and BJP-TD candidate for Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency. Mr. Srinivasa Rao won the by-election held after his father’s death and retained the seat in 2009. He is trying for a hat-trick of wins and started his campaign much before the election schedule was announced. Mr. Srinivasa Rao says people like him. He is confident that the many works he has taken up and facilities created will help him a lot. Being visible in the segment all through and accessible to the people, responding quickly to their requests or demands is expected to pay now.
Mr. Guruvulu pins all his hopes on the party president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s charisma and the welfare programmes of the late YSR. Mr. Jagan’s mother Vijayamma as the Lok Sabha candidate from Visakhapatnam is a big advantage for him and people’s sympathy towards him for losing narrowly last time can also help.
Mr. Ganesh Kumar, in spite of his loss last time, continues to organise many programmes on behalf of the party. He largely depends on the educated section of voters. Modi factor, traditional TDP vote bank, people’s general perception that N. Chandrababu Naidu is a better choice as Chief Minister and film actor Pawan Kalyan’s support to the NDA are factors that might work in favour of Mr. Ganesh Kumar.
The segment having many slums is beset with the problems such as inadequate drinking water supply etc, but the major concern is the pollution caused by Visakhapatnam port. Every contestant is harping on the issue and doling out promises to solve it while Mr. Srinivasa Rao says he could solve it to a large extent. Allipuram area is congested and expansion of its main road is a major issue. The area is also beset with major problem of crime and sale of ganja, prostitution and other anti-social activities.
Both Mr. Ganesh Kumar and Mr. Guruvulu are from fishermen community which has large number of votes and Mr.Srinivasa Rao seems to be having an advantage out of spilt of votes between the two while his son-in-law is also from fishermen community. Jai Samaikyandhra Party's candidate Chintapalli Pothu Raju, two-time Corporator, is the one who is being watched with caution by all the three major contestants. There are 15 contestants, including eight independents, one each from Lok Satta, BSP and AAP. There are four Muslims, including two independents.