The agenda for the elections was set in November last year. The role of political parties in Telangana struggle will, in all probability, sideline all other issues during campaigning in this constituency.
The campaign agenda for the current general election in Adilabad (ST) parliamentary constituency was actually set as early as November last year when Telangana Congress leaders organised a mammoth meeting in Nirmal town to express gratitude to party president Sonia Gandhi for granting Telangana State.
A strong message was meant to be sent to people in Adilabad that it was only because of the pro-Telangana attitude of the Congress that the new State had become a reality.
The role of political parties in Telangana struggle will, in all probability, sideline all other issues during campaigning in this constituency. No party or contestant for that matter will be prepared to let go of the opportunity to seek votes for their role in the separate Telangana struggle.
The TDP will certainly try to retain Adilabad Lok Sabha seat which the party has held since 1984, barring the elections in 1989 and 2004.
Sitting MP Ramesh Rathod is hoping to win the election for the second consecutive time supported, of course, by the perceptible “Modi wave” if an alliance between his party and the BJP takes place. The BJP, on its own, seems ill equipped to join the fight as it has no cadre base.
Mr. Rathod never misses an opportunity to draw a parallel between the ‘struggle’ carried out inside the Lok Sabha by him and TRS president and Mahabubnagar MP K. Chandrashekhar Rao.
“Mr. Rao did not lift even a finger for Telangana in Parliament whereas I even physically protected Speaker Meira Kumar during the ruckus when the AP Reorganisation Bill-2014 was being passed in the House,” he boasts.
The Congress campaign is likely to be affected by infighting as the two dominant groups in the district want their own leader to get nomination.
While the group led by former MLC K. Premsagar Rao is lobbying for a ticket for Asifabad MLA Atram Sakku, District Congress Committee president C. Ramchander Reddy’s group has proposed the name of former academician from Osmania University Dr. Naresh Jadhav.
The TRS will most probably field Boath MLA G. Nagesh, a former TDP district president, who has recently joined the TRS. His task nevertheless will not be easy as he will perhaps need to explain the reasons for his crossing over to TRS.
There is also a likelihood of parties and candidates vowing to get national status for the mega Pranahita-Chevella lift irrigation scheme, the main barrage of which is located in this district. The TDP will especially make it a rallying point.
Adilabad LS was a general seat till 2009, and after delimitation exercise, it was reserved for STs. In the 16 elections, including one by-poll in June 2008, the Congress won eight times, TDP six times, TRS and Socialist Party one time each.
In the first general elections in 1952, the seat, which was in then Hyderabad State, was won by C. Madhava Reddy of the Socialist Party. A by-election was necessitated when TRS MP T. Madhusudhan Reddy resigned in 2007.