This Lok Sabha constituency falls in Telangana but shares borders with ‘Seemandhra’. And it is development and welfare that is uppermost in the minds of voters, even dominating the Telangana sentiment that is sweeping the region, per se.
In a scenario where everyone is apparently talking about how the decades-old sentiment has fructified and how Telangana will be a separate State from June 2, there are more people in Khammam talking about how they would like development-oriented governance.
Khammam LS has the distinction of having Assembly segments where the influence of West Godavari, whose borders are shared by parts of Sattupali, Krishna, whose borders touch Wyra and Madhira. Here the voting for political parties harping on the Telangana sentiment is not expected to be much, says Krishna, a retailer of FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods).
Dr. Ramamohan, a medical practitioner in Kusumanchi of Palair constituency says ideology of parties would matter. In areas that he is familiar with, he says voters were looking for candidates whom they can relate to, who are keen on working for people instead of simply furthering their own interests. Among the top three districts in Andhra Pradesh in cotton production, Khammam needs ginning mills. The district headquarters town itself reels under a serious drinking water shortage.
In a Lok Sabha seat where 14 Independents have pitched in with their nominations, the race in Khammam is between the YSR Congress candidate Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, Communist Party of India candidate Dr. K. Narayana (Congress gave it as part of its pre-poll alliance to the CPI) and sitting MP Nama Nageswara Rao of Telugu Desam Party.
With two Assembly constituencies each reserved for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes and three other constituencies, elections to this Parliamentary constituency are poised to revolve around the question of how the lot of the downtrodden and weaker sections will be improved. Khammam, Palair and Kothagudem are general seats, while Madhira and Sathupalli on one hand and Wyra and Aswaraopeta on the other, are reserved for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, respectively.
Kothagudem badly needs a bypass road and better connectivity. While a proposals for a Greenfield airport is still yet to be taken forward, the Kothagudem-Kovvur railway line is pending.