B.V.S. Bhaskar

The lone Assembly segment of Anaparthy helped him gain a huge lead over his rivals

RAJAHMUNDRY: From the date of nominations to the end of campaigning in Rajahmundry Parliamentary constituency, Congress MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar’s name was not in the first or second place as two film actors were fighting for these places. The media, political analysts and close circles of Arun Kumar also openly made statements that it was very difficult for him to win this time.

The huge spending of money by Telugu Desam Party candidate M. Murali Mohan and another film star U.V. Krishnam Raju pushed the sitting MP to the third place as far as the campaign ‘hungama’ was concerned. Mr Arun Kumar was away from the constituency till 10 days before the election, as he was the translator of AICC president Sonia Gandhi and youth leader Rahul Gandhi and had to be with them when they campaigned in the State.

Simple maths

Then how did he win the election by a margin of 2,415 votes? “There is simple mathematics in this. He conducted a whirlwind tour of his constituency for the last 13 days on a motorcycle and attended 138 meetings. The Congress has several pockets of traditional voters. He conducted night meetings with group leaders and that’s it,” said MLC Kandula Durgesh, in-charge of his office. Asked whether this effort was sufficient to garner 3,57,449 votes, Mr. Durgesh said Mr Arun Kumar did not get a majority in four Assembly segments like Rajahmundry rural, Nidadavolu, Kovvuru and Rajanagaram. But the only constituency which gave him a thumping majority was Anaparthy where he got a 40,000-vote lead over Mr Muralimohan and that margin pushed his opponents to the second and third places.

Votes from Rajahmundry city and Gopalapuram helped him muster a slight majority over his nearest rival and win.