Staff Reporter

BAPATLA: As the final countdown for the big fight begins on Thursday morning, candidates of various political parties, including senior Cabinet Ministers, bureaucrats and several new-comers are keeping their fingers crossed in what is billed as the keenest elections in the history of the State.

The run-up to the elections has seen some of the perceptible changes. In at least five segments, the Praja Rajyam influence seems to be waning as the stocks of the party have plummeted sharply even taking poll observers by surprise. The Congress is keen on consolidating its vote-bank among the SCs and minorities, while the Telugu Desam is hoping to get the support of BCs in addition to the support in enjoys from Kamma community.

The possibility of a marginal vote share of Praja Rajyam Party being split in favour of Congress could not be ruled out, while the Telugu Desam is hoping that it could swing the votes of BC in its favour.

In Bapatla Lok Sabha constituency, Union Minister of State for Health Panabaka Lakshmi is hoping to sail home on a positive vote on the Union and Central Governments, while her rivals are banking on the strengths of their parties in the Assembly segments.

Positive swing

The positive swing in favour of sitting MLA Gade Venkata Reddy and Meruga Nagarjuna at Vemuru has placed her in an advantageous position in Bapatla, while she will be sailing against the wind in Chirala and Repalle, where Minister for Ports Mopidevi Venkata Ramana Rao is facing rough weather after being pitted against two rival candidates of Gouda community.

Telugu Desam’s Sri Ram Malyadri is totally banking on support from Assembly constituencies and had extended his full support to the contesting candidates. He is hoping to cash on the support of weaver community in Chirala and anti-incumbency in Parchur Assembly segment.

The Praja Rajyam on the other hand, is placed in a spot of bother as several candidates seemed to have frittered their chances due to organizational weaknesses and poor planning.

In Bapatla, Uggirala Seetharamaiah is hoping to get support from Kapu community, while he has little chances in the coastal villages.