G. Narasimha Rao

Victory depends on votes of community members

VISAKHAPATNAM: Anakapalle Lok Sabha constituency received national attention when Konathala Ramakrishna, who is now Minister for Commercial Taxes, won with a majority of just nine votes in the 1989 general elections.

It is in the news again now with Allu Aravind, brother-in-law of Praja Rajyam president Chiranjeevi and the man, who is calling the shots in the party, entering the fray.

Prestigious fight

The Congress has fielded former Vizag Mayor Sabbam Hari and the TDP has given ticket to Managing Director of Telugu daily, Surya, Nookarapu Surya Prakasa Rao. He joined the party a day before filing his nomination.

Anakapalle is one of the five Lok Sabha seats won by the TDP in 2004. P. Chalapathi Rao was the winner.

The constituency has returned Congress candidates mostly, though almost all Assembly seats have been with TDP, till 2004.

Mr. Hari was quick to meet the group leaders and caste elders of the constituency while Mr. Surya Prakasa Rao launched his campaign in right the earnest.

Mr. Aravind is arriving on Monday.

The campaign will hot up in a few days as Mr. Chiranjeevi is expected to come here.

Kapus highest

Programmes and policies of their parties figure in the campaign but caste, the underlying strength of candidates is expected to be the decisive factor.

Mr. Aravind is banking on the Kapu votes, which are the highest in number here. Mr. Hari and Mr. Surya Prakasa Rao belong to the Koppula Velama community, which is almost as strong as the Kapu community. Gavara community is the next major factor.

Victory depends on the percentage of votes a candidate gets from his own community.

But political observers say Mr. Aravind cannot bank on a split in Velama votes because the community generally plumps for one candidate. Also a lot depends on how the candidates in Assembly segments support the Lok Sabha candidates.

Seven segments

The Lok Sabha constituency has seven Assembly segments: Pendurthy (added after delimitation), Chodavaram, Madugula, Anakapalle, Narsipatnam, Elamanchili and Payakaraopeta (SC).

The TDP won at Narsipatnam, Payakaraopeta and Chodavaram last time.

Mr. Ganta Srinivasa Rao, who won from Chodavaram last time, joined the Praja Rajyam and is contesting from Anakapalle Assembly segment.