Secunderabad is the face of Hyderabad, at least for people outside the State, as it is at this railway station that they alight to reach the capital. Once the British Cantonment during the Nizam rule, it is also the twin of Hyderabad.
Though it was the hub of Army and Railways initially, the area now houses mostly middle class colonies of employees of State and Central Governments, and the rapidly growing IT sector. Traditionally, a Congress stronghold, BJP made inroads with the former Union Minister, Bandaru Datatreya getting elected thrice from here. However, since the last two elections, Congress candidate Anjan Kumar Yadav has tasted success.
Interestingly, the duo is locked in a battle this time also.
The prominent among the 30 contestants include T. Bheemsen from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and former bureaucrat, Chaya Ratan of the Aam Admi Party (AAP).Assembly segments
The constituency covers the Assembly segments of Secunderabad, Khairatabad, Amberpet, Musheerabad, Sanathnagar, Nampally and Jubilee Hills.
Mr. Dattatreya reminds that he was instrumental in getting the MMTS to the city as the Minister of State for Railways in the NDA Government, and since then nothing has changed.
“I will get the MMTS second phase and change Secunderabad’s face,” he says. He is banking on his track record and the ‘Modi wave’. Mr. Yadav says nearly 350 projects worth Rs 20 crore were grounded in the last five years through MPLAD funds.
“I am one of the highest spenders of MPLAD funds in the country. Moreover, I have helped the city get projects worth crores apart from spending my own money helping colonies and individuals,” he says exuding confidence that it would be a hat-trick of wins. He refutes charges of his inaccessibility to voters. “I am the most accessible.”Formidable challenge
New contenders like Mr. Bheemsen and Ms. Chaya Ratan, however, promise to make the contest tough. Mr. Bheemsen is depending on the Telangana sentiment and the promises made by K. Chadrasekhara Rao. Ms. Ratan is aiming the youngsters with her party’s slogan of rooting out corruption. But weak party structure looks an impediment to her.
Assembly segment- wise contests also reveal that it would be a keen contest between Congress and the BJP-TDP combine. Despite the constituency being an absolute urban area,voters are divided on regional and religious lines.
While Mr. Yadav banks on the Christian and Muslim voters apart from the slum-dwellers, Mr. Dattatreya is confident of the huge educated and middle class voter segment. They are certain to face some issues with these segments as AAP and AIMIM have also fielded candidates. The TRS is strong only in a few pockets.