TRS may find it difficult to repeat its performance

The pre-election phase in Adilabad (ST) Lok Sabha constituency is marked with suspense as no party has clarity on the name of a candidate to fight this election. There has been some party hopping of late which adds to the confusion.

Though the TDP looks certain to field sitting MP Ramesh Rathod, there is a possibility of his joining the BJP if an alliance between the two parties does not materialise. The TRS is said to be toying with the idea of giving the MP ticket to former TDP district president and Boath MLA G. Nagesh who had recently crossed over to that party though there are others like Kanaka Lakke Rao who are in the race.

The Congress too has not finalised its candidate but Asifabad MLA Atram Sakku, who belongs to the former MLC K. Premsagar Rao led group and Dr. Naresh Jadhav, a former academician from Osmania University from the group led by District Congress Committee president C. Ramchander Reddy have emerged strong contenders for the ticket. Adilabad Parliamentary seat, comprising a tribal voter chunk between 25 and 30 per cent, has seven Assembly segments. It was reserved for the Scheduled Tribes following the delimitation exercise done by the Election Commission in 2009. Leaders belonging to the Reddy caste and mostly hailing from Nirmal town have won 10 of the 15 elections, this constituency has seen from the 1951 onwards. Only K. Ashanna, who won the 1957 election, belonged to the district and constituency headquarter town of Adilabad. The TDP, whose cadres are short of morale at present, will nevertheless spare no efforts to retain its grip on this geographically large sized Lok Sabha seat which it lost only thrice, including the 2008 by-election, since capturing it for the first time in the 1984 elections. Mr. Rathod, whose party was fighting the election with TRS as an ally, wrested the seat for his party from Congress in 2009 by defeating his rival Kotnak Ramesh with a comfortable margin of 1,15,087 votes.

Telangana sentiment runs high in this constituency since 2010 as is evident from the fact that the TRS candidates at Sirpur, Mancherial and Chennur (SC) and Adilabad Assembly constituencies won with thumping margins despite the party delinking itself from the alliance with TDP it had forged the previous year. Political observers however, say it will be difficult for TRS to repeat its by-election performance as not many are inclined to harbour Telangana sentiment as the task of carving out the State has been achieved.