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The battle of ‘non-locals’

M. Rajeev
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Jaipal Reddy hopes his image will work in Mahabubnagar

Jaipal Reddy
Jaipal Reddy

An interesting contest is on the cards in the Mahabubnagar Lok Sabha segment what with two major contenders in the fray banking on their experience and poll management strategies while the third is heavily relying on the Telangana sentiment.

Although Krishna river flows through a major part of the constituency, signs of backwardness are visible throughout the constituency with several Assembly segments under its purview known for extensive migration of labour every year. Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy will take on BJP’s Nagam Janardhan Reddy in a contest that will feature another former MP A.P. Jitender Reddy, representing the TRS.

While Mr. Jaipal Reddy is reportedly betting big on his personal image, the BJP pins its hope on its alliance with the TDP.

The TRS nominee is banking on the Telangana sentiment and hopes that the party’s struggle for realising separate Statehood will ensure his victory.

Interestingly, all the three are non-locals as far as the Mahabubnagar Lok Sabha seat is concerned, though they belong to the same district. Mr. Jaipal Reddy hails from Kalwakurthy, Dr. Janardhan Reddy from Nagarkurnool and Mr. Jitender Reddy Alampur. The Telangana sentiment exists, but confined to a few pockets and it is not likely to be a major factor in deciding the fate of the candidates, TDP leaders say.

They substantiate their claim citing the election of TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao in 2009 polls with a comparatively low margin in spite of backing by the TDP. In what could be a setback to the TRS nominee, at least two Assembly segments, Kodangal and Narayanpet, have influence of neighbouring Karnataka while two other segments Deverakadra and Makthal have significant presence of settlers.

Mr. Jaipal Reddy, who represented the constituency in the past, is relatively better placed in the district as he is said to have maintained his base among the second rung leaders and senior partymen. “The leaders will stand united when it comes to Mr. Jaipal Reddy’s election. He has no detractors in the district,” Shadnagar Congress MLA C. Pratap Reddy said.

The BJP leaders are confident that the split in the minority vote could work to their advantage and the party’s alliance with the TDP will further bolster its prospects. The TDP currently has sitting MLAs in Kodangal, Jadcherla, Makthal and Devarakadra while the BJP’s Y. Srinivas Reddy holds the Mahabubnagar segment.

Though the TDP held the Narayanpet segment till recently, its MLA Yella Reddy has switched loyalties to the TRS a few days ago.


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