National » Andhra Pradesh

Updated: April 1, 2014 02:21 IST

TDP, YSRC sprint ahead of Congress

P. Sridhar
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Is firebrand actor-turned-politician Vijayashanti going to test her luck from Khammam Lok Sabha seat? This rumour that Medak MP Ms. Vijayashanti, who recently joined the Congress, would be pitted against sitting MP Nama Nageswara Rao of TDP has gained currency.

The seat has a track record of returning non-local candidates to Parliament on several occasions in the past. With the Congress still undecided about fielding its candidate from Khammam Lok Sabha seat following the impasse over finalisation of an alliance with CPI, the TDP and the YSR Congress have gained an upper hand by hitting the campaign trail.

Although the name of senior CPI leader Puvvada Nageswara Rao initially made the rounds as a probable candidate for the Khammam seat, party State secretary K. Narayana’s name surfaced suddenly. Mr. Nageswara Rao’s son Puvvada Ajay Kumar is aspiring to contest as a Congress candidate from the Khammam Assembly seat. The CPI has staked a strong claim for Kothagudem and Wyra besides Pinapaka Assembly seats. The CPI has high stakes over the LS seat which its veteran leader T.B. Vittal Rao first represented it in the late 1950s.

While the Congress and CPI are wrangling over the seats, both the TDP and the YSRC have finalised their party nominees – Nama Nageswara Rao, sitting MP, and Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy respectively. Both the parties have hit the campaign trail in a big way by organising huge public meetings.

Mr. Nama Nageswara Rao, who unsuccessfully contested from Khammam LS constituency during his maiden electoral debut in 2004, emerged triumphant in his second attempt by defeating Ms. Chowdary with a margin of 1,24,448 votes in 2009.

Long list of aspirants

The Congress has a long list of aspirants, including Rajya Sabha member and former Union Minister Renuka Chowdary, who represented the seat twice in 1999 and 2004, MLC P. Sudhakar Reddy and others. But the party is weighed down by group rivalry within the district Congress. An influential group in the district Congress is insisting on nomination of a local candidate in the changed political scenario.

The name of former minister Jalagam Prasad Rao, the elder son of Jalagam Vengal Rao, is also making rounds in the Congress circles as the probable candidate for the seat.

The CPI (M) has announced former municipal chairperson Afroz Sameena as its candidate for the seat. The party Telangana State secretary T. Veerabhadram won the seat in 1996 elections by trouncing Mr. Rangaiah Naidu with a margin of 63,291 votes.

‘T’ plank

The TRS and the BJP have been trying to capitalise on “Telangana” plank by claiming credit for the creation of separate Telangana State in a bid to consolidate their base in the district. The TRS is reportedly trying to rope in a noted comedian of Telugu film industry for the Lok Sabha seat.

The burning issues like crisis in granite industry due to power shortage, agrarian distress and inordinate delay in completion of pending irrigation projects such as SRSP stage-II are likely to dominate the electioneering for the upcoming polls.

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