Andhra Pradesh 2019

MPs from Vijayawada were active in Delhi

A formidable fight is on the cards to win the prestigious seat this time

Vijayawada parliamentary constituency has seen great battles. Sitting MP Kesineni Srinivas (Nani) might face a formidable fight from YSR Congress Party candidate and a new face Prasad V.Potluri.

The constituency was earlier a stronghold of the undivided CPI. Harindranath Chattopadhyay, English poet, dramatist and musician contested for the first Lok Sabha with the support of the party and won over his Congress rival with a margin of nearly 75,000 votes.

But Congress candidate K Achamamba defeated Communist Party candidate Tammina Potharaju by a slim margin of 2,000 votes in 1957. Vijayawada born (Kankipadu is now part of the city) engineer K L Rao was elected to the Lok Sabha three consecutive times in 1962, 1967 and 1971.

The last time he was elected to Parliament, Rao won over his Communist rival Dasari Nagabhushana Rao by a margin of 1,56,004 votes. This margin continues to be the highest in this constituency.

The Lok Sabha seat can be called a stronghold of the Congress party as its candidates were elected 11 of 16 times with huge margins over the Left or the TDP rivals. The TDP candidates on the contrary won with comparatively slimmer margins. Gadde Ramamohan (TDP) holds the record of winning with a margin of 87,066 votes.

Even in the 1984 TDP wave, party candidate Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao won with 28,444 votes over Congress candidate Chennupati Vidya. In 1996 Parvataneni Upendra defeated Mr Sobhanadreeswara Rao by a margin of 1,14,274 votes.

After bifurcation, almost the entire voting base of the Congress shifted to the YSRC. The Congress party got 39,751 votes against the 5,17,834 votes YSRC candidate Koneru Rajendra Prasad polled.

The candidates elected from Vijayawada, no matter the party they belonged to, played an active role at the Centre. K L Rao was Irrigation Minister and builder of many important multi-purpose projects. Similary, Mr. Upendra was leader of Opposition and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.

Another MP Lagadapati Rajagopal took a lead in the anti-bifurcation movement and had gone down in history for using pepper spray on fellow parliamentarians.

Sitting MP Srinivas is more a man of deeds than words. In 2014 cross-voting in urban areas favoured him. Several voters who voted for the YSRC candidates in the Assembly constituency preferred him to their own MP candidate Rajendra Prasad.

Mr. Potluri Prasad also claimed that he was a man of deeds. He wants to create jobs for youngsters by catalysing economic growth in the city. He said he would request the Telugu film moguls not to confine themselves to Hyderabad when conducting events and would ask them to hold one event in Vijayawada city also.

The goodwill Mr. Srinivas garnered particularly in the rural areas would however be tough to surpass and it could be a challenge for Mr. Prasad, many psephologists feel.

The work he has done with the Tata Foundation has earned him a lot of new voters in the rural areas, they feel.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 3:34:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/andhra-pradesh-assembly/mps-from-vijayawada-were-active-in-delhi/article26594238.ece

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