Two business honchos, a student leader in fray

Contestants for Lok Sabha constituency here are so spirited that rising mercury has zero impact on their campaign.

TDP candidate Kesineni Srinivas (Nani), a transporter, and YSR Congress nominee Koneru Prasad, a businessman, have entered the fray to try their fortunes in Lok Sabha polls. The candidates of all the major political parties in the fray are new faces to the voters. With the sitting MP Lagadapati Rajagopal bidding adieu to politics, the Congress party gave the ticket to young Devineni Avinash, son of former Minister Devineni Rajasekhar.

They stepped up their election campaign to woo voters in various parts of the constituency. Bidding farewell to their corporate style, Mr. Nani and Mr. Prasad are out there to impress upon the voters. Incidentally, the contestants are banking on the issue of capital of residuary Andhra Pradesh and making the city an entrepreneurs’ destination tops their agenda.

Mr. Nani pulls a rickshaw while Mr. Prasad tries his hand at chopping toddy palm to woo voters. Politicians seldom venture into the vast expanses of slums, but campaigning is an occasion to make their presence felt there. Mr. Prasad’s focus is on the development of Vijayawada city and its surrounding areas. His campaign, devoid of sharp criticism against any political party or candidate, is being appreciated. Despite his affluent background, Mr. Prasad has been connecting well with the voters. The corporate efficiency of his support team and his slick manifesto are the two big plus points for him. During his door-to-door campaign in constituencies, Mr. Nani prefers to highlight non-local issues. He makes it a point to mention that the city/constituency hasn’t developed all these years as outsiders were elected. “Don’t elect the economic offenders. They have come here to grab your land and flee back to Dubai,” he said during one of his public meetings referring to his rival Mr. Prasad. The 26-year-old Avinash is on the campaign trail mostly with his father. Mr. Avinash, who spearheaded united Andhra Pradesh agitation, has taken upon himself to explain to people that the Congress was not responsible for State bifurcation. Vijayawada LS constituency has seven Assembly segments: Vijayawada (West, Central and East), Tiruvur, Nandigama, Jaggaiahpeta and Mylavaram. Of these, the TDP has sitting MLAs in Nandigama, Tirurvur and Mylavaram.