Paul Benjamin

Battle of pride between Yerran Naidu and Dharmana

SRIKAKULAM: This district has a history of supporting non-Congress parties, but this trend was reversed in 2004 when the Telugu Desam Party suffered a debacle.

The delimitation exercise has reduced the number of constituencies in this district from 12 to 10 and observers are keenly anticipating a three-way contest between the Congress, the Telugu Desam and the Praja Rajyam.

The two constituencies that have disappeared from the electoral map are Sompeta and Harischandrapuram while Unukuru, after some modifications, has been renamed as Rajam while a new one, Palasa, has been created.

TDP may be affected

These changes will affect the fortunes of the Telugu Desam legislator from Sompeta, Gouthu Shyam Sunder Sivaji, as also the Unukuru legislator K. Kala Venkata Rao, who switched loyalties from the Telugu Desam to Praja Rajyam and resigned his seat.

K. Atchan Naidu will also have to rework his electoral strategies as his constituency, Harischandrapuram, has been merged into Tekkali.

Sivaji eying Palasa

Mr. Sivaji is now seeking the party ticket from the newly created Palasa constituency. Similarly, Mr. Venkata Rao is likely to contest from Etcherla constituency, which was has now been de-reserved.

In the 2004 Assembly elections, the Congress party won seven seats and the TDP five. With the advent of PR, all the equations have comprehensively changed.

The Telugu Desam received a jolt as its several prominent leaders like Tamineni Seetharam, Mr. Venkata Rao, Kambala Jogulu and Kalamati Mohana Rao, the latter three being MLAs, resigned from the party and joined the Praja Rajyam.

Congress unaffected

The Congress party has been largely unaffected either by delimitation or the emergence of Praja Rajyam in the district. Revenue Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao is spearheading the party’s campaign in the district by seeking to keep the voters happy through the implementation of various development and welfare schemes.

The newly-established Ambedkar University and the RIMS Medical College and Hospital, apart from various irrigation projects are being touted as the ruling party’s major achievements.

Test for PR

The Opposition parties have been highlighting the issue of corruption in the Congress government.

The burden of seeing that the Telugu Desam recaptures its past glory in this district largely rests on K. Yerran Naidu, its Parliamentary party leader.

No dearth of leaders

There is no dearth of leaders in the Praja Rajyam after the mass defections to it from the Telugu Desam . Keeping in view the caste factor and the altered political equations, Srikakulam will be a true test of strength for the Praja Rajyam.

It will be no less for the Congress and Telugu Desam who will leave no stone unturned in trying to repeat their past performances in the next elections too.