Fighting the elections in Zaheerabad will not be a smooth sailing for former Major Industries Minister J. Geeta Reddy, who migrated to the constituency after it was reserved for SCs before the 2009 elections.
Though this is a stronghold of the Congress party, it will face resistance from Telugu Desam while the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has been trying to get a foothold in the constituency.
The constituency is mostly dominated by Muslims followed by SCs and STs. Muslims, who constitute 30 per cent of the electorate, will decide the fate of candidates. Congress stalwart late M. Baga Reddy represented the constituency from 1957 to 1985.
The support being extended by Muslim minorities enabled Ms. Geeta Reddy to win the elections in the past. Former Minister Md. Fareeduddin who had extended support to Ms. Geeta Reddy in the previous elections, recently gave vent to differences with her stating that tickets for local elections were allotted unilaterally. Not only that, he took the issue to TPCC president Ponnala Lakshmaiah, who pacified him. In the 2009 elections, Ms. Geeta Reddy defeated TDP candidate Y. Narottam with a majority of 2,186 votes. While Geeta Reddy got 62,758 votes, Mr. Narottam got 60,572 votes whereas Praja Rajyam candidate D. Vasanta Kumar got 15,185 votes. Here, the strength of the TRS is limited and it has to garner support from various sections to give a tough fight to other parties.
Mr. Narottam has been going all out to strengthen the party but to what extent he will be able to pull strings needs be seen.
As far as BJP and TRS are concerned, both of them are yet to name their candidates and according to sources, both parties are finding it difficult to find a suitable candidate locally. According to sources, the TRS has been actively considering the name of Manikya Rao, a retired government employee, to pit from here. Problems such as lack of drinking water at Jharasangam and some parts of the municipality, improper roads in areas such as Nyalakal, not taking up Narinja project despite repeated assurances are some issues that may be highlighted during electioneering. The proposed National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) at the constituency had also been not taken up due to various reasons including that of non-allocation of funds by the government.