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Updated: April 29, 2014 22:44 IST

TDP, YSRC evenly poised in Pendurthi

Sumit Bhattacharjee
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The Hindu

JSP candidate seen as capable of denting the vote share of both parties. Post-bifurcation, with the Congress losing its ground, the fight is now reduced between the TDP and the YSRC.

With the campaign for the May 7 Assembly and Lok Sabha polls picking up, the fight between the Telugu Desam Party and the YSR Congress in Pendurthi Assembly candidates appears to be evenly poised and a last ball finish can be expected.

Both TDP candidate Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy and YSRC candidate Gandi Babji have edge in certain pockets across the three major mandals -- Pendurthi, Sabbavaram and Parwada -- and it all depends on how they would fructify on the mandate day.

Both candidates served as MLAs from their respective constituencies in the past, but both ended up losers from this constituency, post delimitation and merging of the three major mandals in 2009. Moreover, since 1978, this constituency has a unique record of not electing an MLA more than once. While the Congress has won four times, the TDP bagged the seat twice. An independent candidate, the CPI and the PRP have won the seat once each.

Congress losing ground

Post-bifurcation, with the Congress losing its ground, the fight is now reduced between the TDP and the YSRC. But it is believed that the Jai Samakiyanadhra Party candidate in the shape of Nutan Naidu can be the spoiler, by taking some of the share from both.

In 2009, the total electorate was 2.07 lakh and now it has risen to about 2.32 lakhs. In 2009, the seat was won by Praja Rajyam Party candidate Panchakarla Ramesh Babu who secured 51,700 votes and the runner-up was Gandi Babji (48,428 votes) who was then in the Congress.

The dominant castes in the Assembly segments are Kapus who account for about 55,500 votes, followed by Koppula Velama to the tune of about 46,400. Both Mr. Bandaru and Mr. Babji hail from the Velama community and the votes will be divided between the two. The crucial factor lies in wooing the Kapu votes. The successful candidate will be the winner, says a political analyst. Another community that will play a crucial role is the Reddy. There are about 19,000 Reddy votes spread across the constituency.

Problems

Coming to the problems -- the primary problem is education. There is no degree college in the constituency. Students have to come to the city for admission. Second most neglected aspect is health. There is no major government hospital. The proposed 30-bed hospital at Pendurthi has been pending since 1997. The implementation of GO 578 concerning regularisation of Simhachalam Devasthanam lands in the five panchayatis of Prahaladapuram, Vepagunta, Varalakhsmi Nagar, and Purushottampuram is yet to take shape. And finally, the long- pending demand of widening the NH bypass from Anandapuram to Anakapalle is yet to happen.

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