P. Ram Mohan
NIZAMABAD: Kamareddy has caught everybody’s attention as Power Minister Mohd. Ali Shabbir, a close aide of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, is seeking re-election. He is locked in a keen fight with Gampa Govardhan (TDP), D. Vithal (PR) and Muralidhar Goud (BJP).
An interesting feature of this segment, falling in Zaheerabad Lok Sabha constituency, is that no one was elected twice consecutively since its formation in 1952. Mr. Shabbir Ali was first elected in 1989 and became a Minister in 1990 and 1993. He was defeated twice in 1994 and 1999.
The Telugu Desam dominated the constituency since the inception of the party and the Congress found every election difficult since then. Mr. Shabbir Ali could win with a big majority in 2004, thanks only to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti which was an alliance partner of the Congress. With a victory margin of 52,763 votes, his was the biggest lead in the district.
Kamareddy was the stronghold of the separate Telangana movement which was proved by the standing of TRS in the constituency prior to 2004. The Grand Alliance is fielding former legislator Govardhan who enjoys an edge over Mr. Shabbir Ali in so far as personal image and public sympathy is concerned. The Minister is popular though people are wary of his brother Nayeem who has been calling the shots in the constituency over the years. The victory of Mr. Shabbir Ali was facilitated in 2004 as the seat was cornered by the BJP in the TDP-BJP alliance. Mr. Govardhan was then shifted to Yellareddy where he was defeated by TRS candidate E. Ravinder Reddy. The Zaheerabad Lok Sabha candidate of the Grand Alliance, Mohd. Yousuf Ali, defeated Mr. Shabbir Ali in 1999.
The Minister is confident that his performance and the sanction of the Pranahita-Chevella project as also a Rs.140-crore drinking water scheme for the constituency would fetch him votes.
The parched area would become a greenbelt and the drinking water problem here could be solved permanently when the schemes were implemented, he says.