Muslims hold the key in Hindupur Assembly constituency

While it has been widely predicted that cine actor N. Balakrishna will win hands down from the Hindupur Assembly constituency, the ground situation seems to project a different scenario.

Balakrishna’s father and TDP founder Nandamuri Tarakarama Rao (NTR) won from the Hindupur constituency three times successively while the TDP won subsequently, after his demise.

However, in the last election, the current YSRC candidate, Naveen Nischal, who contested as an independent, lost to the TDP candidate, Abdul Ghani, by around 7,000 votes while the Congress came third.

“We are concerned that a minority hasn’t been made the candidate. If it were so, we would have had the confidence that the candidate would be available to us locally and would understand our problems,” a Muslim leader of the constituency, told The Hindu. “If Balakrishna is voted to power, we are not sure that he will be either available locally or understand our problems. It will be better that we vote for a local candidate who would at least be available to listen to our problems,” the Muslim leader said. Muslims constitute around 35 per cent of the total electorate at more than 60,000 votes and have mostly voted en masse for the TDP except in the last election when their votes seemed to be divided between the TDP and Naveen Nischal, an independent candidate then.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Naveen Nischal expressed confidence that he would win by a small margin at least, if not by a thumping majority. On the other hand, Nandamuri Balakrishna not canvassing for more than three days at a stretch in the constituency, besides the fact that he had only gone around on his vehicle rather than to the people’s houses doesn’t seem to have gone down well with people even as Naveen Nischal is leaving no stone unturned, visiting every household to ensure victory.