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Updated: March 31, 2014 22:22 IST

Tough competition in store for Ponnala

Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao
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TPCC President Ponnala Lakshmaiah
The Hidu
TPCC President Ponnala Lakshmaiah

Of the 12 Assembly constituencies in the district, Jangaon is one of key constituencies as it is being represented by Telangana PCC president Ponnala Lakshmaiah, who won the election here for four times.

Mr. Lakshmaiah won for the first time in 1989 and lost in 1994. For the last three consecutive times, he won from here.

In the last election held in 2009, he had tough time facing TRS candidate Kommuri Pratap Reddy and could scrape through with just 236 votes.

Now, Mr. Pratap Reddy, who built a considerable following, has joined the BJP, and he is likely to contest for the same seat. Meanwhile, it is said that the TRS is planning to field Muttireddy Yadagiri Reddy from Jangaon. The TDP is yet to decide on the candidate though its district president A. Baswa Reddy is strongly lobbying for the ticket.

Both Mr. Pratap Reddy and Mr. Yadagiri Reddy can give tough competition to Mr. Lakshmaiah.

For BJP, apart from the personal network of Mr. Pratap Reddy, the Modi factor might bring in some votes, especially from younger sections of society, while for the TRS, the strong Telangana sentiment might work in favour of the party candidate. It is not yet clear if Mr. Ponnala Lakshmaiah would contest for Assembly seat from Jangaon or prefer to contest from Bhongir parliamentary constituency, as is being rumoured. His daughter-in-law Ms Vaishali is also aspiring to contest for Assembly from Jangaon.

In case, Ms Vaishali contests from here, one has to see how she would face the seasoned politicians of TRS and BJP. In the past, Ms. Vaishali contested for Cheriyal Assembly in by-election against Mr Kommuri Pratap Reddy and lost.

Mr. Ponnala Lakshmaiah might scrape through if he contests from Jangaon Assembly as he has personal rapport with large sections and long association with people. The party also has soft corner among people for keeping up its promise on separate Telangana which might work in his favour.

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