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Updated: May 5, 2014 20:47 IST
MANDATE 2014

Unbeaten since 1989, Kanna waging a lone battle

P. Samuel Jonathan
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Guntur West Assembly Constituency Congress candidate Kanna Lakshminarayana on a morning walk at Gujjangundla walking track in Guntur. - A FILE PHOTO: T. Vijaya Kumar
THE HINDU Guntur West Assembly Constituency Congress candidate Kanna Lakshminarayana on a morning walk at Gujjangundla walking track in Guntur. - A FILE PHOTO: T. Vijaya Kumar

Will Kanna Lakshminarayana beat the odds to retain the Guntur West Assembly segment? Guntur West segment is the only constituency in the district where the Congress is in reckoning and it is here Kanna is waging a lone battle to retain the seat, which he had won in 2009 in a keen triangular contest.

The Telugu Desam has fielded Modugula Venugopala Reddy, MP from Narsaraopet to take on Kanna on his home turf, while the former AMC Chairman Lella Appireddy is in the fray as YSRC candidate.

Mr. Lakshminarayana is known to be a seasoned campaigner and has never lost an election since 1989. Besides initiating developmental works, his efforts to win over various communities by building community halls could have an impact.

His personal image as an accessible politician could help him to muster support from residential areas. “I have brought Rs.460 crore water project which would ensure that the city’s water requirements would be taken care of for the next 50 years. Kankaragunta RoB which connects the One town and Two town is my achievement. Having the experience of serving in various Ministries, I can carry on the developmental works,” Mr. Kanna says.

The TDP on the other hand is catching up fast and Mr. Reddy had considerably covered the ground since the confusion over his candidature had blown over. Mr. Reddy hopes to consolidate on the party’s traditional vote bank besides the support of Brahmin and Vysya communities. Guntur West is the nerve centre of business activity and has a significant number of educated voters.

On the other hand, Mr. Appireddy finds himself in the big league for the first time but the spirited campaigner is sure of his chances.

“I have the advantage of touring the segment and directly connecting with voters. People are disillusioned with both Congress and TDP and want to give Jagan Mohan Reddy a chance to reconstruct the new state,” Mr. Reddy says.

A trade union leader in his formative years as a politician, the former AMC chairman is heavily dependant on the voting in Srinivasarao Thota, Nallacheruvu, KVP Colony, where a large number of daily wagers live. A near consolidation of Reddy, Dalit and Muslim voters in his favour could help Mr. Reddy scrape through.

All eyes will be on this constituency set for the most intriguing battle in its electoral history.

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