The TRS is taking the field here seeking to defeat sitting MLA Errabelli Dayakar Rao of the TDP, portraying him as a ‘betrayer’ of the Telangana movement.
The TRS’ focus has been so much on Mr. Dayakar Rao that it has chosen to ignore Congress candidate Dugyala Srinivasa Rao. The TDP, on the other hand, views the election seriously, and is leaving no stone unturned in its preparations.
TRS candidate N. Sudhakar Rao is a native of the constituency, which was represented by his mother and father, and by himself at various periods of time. In 2009, Mr. Dayakar Rao, whose native Wardhannapet constituency was reserved for SC, sidelined Dr. Sudhakar Rao (then with the TDP) and managed to secure a party ticket. He defeated the Congress’ Dugyala Srinivasa Rao.
This time, Dr. Sudhakar Rao is being fielded by the TRS, Mr. Dayakar Rao is representing the TDP and Mr. Srinivasa Rao is in the fray on a Congress ticket.
Besides the separate Telangana sentiment, Dr. Sudhakar Rao is counting on public sympathy. As both Mr. Srinivasa Rao and Mr. Dayakar Rao had represented this constituency earlier, the electorate have had a taste of their functioning. They could give Dr. Sudhakar Rao a chance, given their respect for the family that has been public life since the first general elections in 1952. The little development that the constituency has witnessed was during the stint Dr. Sudhakar Rao’s late father and MLA N. Yathiraja Rao.
The constituency has five mandals – Devaruppula, Kodakandla, Palakurthi, Rayaparthy and Thorrur – which were all TDP strongholds. The party has a traditional vote bank, and a strong organisational network.
Dr. Sudhakar Rao, who was earlier with the TDP, could draw support from that party’s cadre. The party cadre, who had never wavered in difficult times, had found it difficult to openly proclaim loyalty to the TDP with a strong Telangana sentiment in the air, and party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu’s open efforts to stall a separate Telangana Bill in Parliament. This is likely to help Dr. Sudhakar Rao garner significant votes.
Mr. Dayakar Rao, who claims the loyalty of party workers, may lag this time as both TRS and Congress would tough fight.