S. Harpal Singh

Grand Alliance to make tribals’ deaths caused by epidemics a major poll issue

ADILABAD: Thanks to the delimitation exercise, a member of the ST community will represent Adilabad in the 15th Lok Sabha for the first time. This seat encompasses seven of the 10 Assembly segments in Adilabad district, while the remaining three form part of Peddapalli Lok Sabha constituency.

With Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounting for 20 per cent each of the 25 lakh population, the district now has a new Assembly constituency – Bellampally – that will be reserved for SCs. Having been carved out of the Luxettipet, Chennur (SC) and Asifabad Assembly segments, it will be included in Peddapalli Lok Sabha constituency.

A traditional Congress stronghold, Adilabad turned into a TDP bastion after its advent in 1983. Between 1996 and 2004, the TDP held six of the nine Assembly constituencies, but this trend was reversed in 2004 when it conceded all seats to the Congress-TRS combine, except the Asifabad seat. Now, the boot is on the other leg. The TDP and the TRS will be fighting together in most of the seats as partners in the Grand Alliance with the help of the CPI and CPI(M). The CPI, which has sought Bellampalli (SC) seat, is likely to be obliged because of its influence among the Singareni coalminers there.

TRS eyes Bellampalli

The TRS is also understood to be pitching for Bellampalli besides Adilabad, Boath (ST), Sirpur and Asifabad (ST) seats and the TDP for Khanapur (ST), Nirmal, Mudhole, Mancherial and Chennur (SC). According to available indications, Adilabad MP A. Indrakaran Reddy will be fielded from Nirmal Assembly constituency and Koneru Konappa from Sirpur and DCC president C. Ramchander Reddy from Adilabad. The Congress has zeroed in on K. Ramesh as its Lok Sabha candidate from Adilabad. TDP’s district president Gone Hanmanth Rao is its most likely candidate from Mancherial, while party spokesman S. Venugopalachary may try his luck from either Nirmal or Mudhole Assembly constituency. ZP chairman Ramesh Rathod is seeking a TDP nomination from Khanapur (ST) seat. The Grand Alliance partners are likely to make the deaths caused every year by fever epidemics among tribals a major election issue. About 175 tribals had lost their lives in 2007 though the opposition parties put the toll at around 500.