Vizag South presents a tough combat zone for MLA candidates

Neither YSRCP’s Vasupalli nor JSP’s Yadav seem to be having it easy as they battle dissent from within their own party cadres and stiff competition from one another for the MLA seat

April 23, 2024 05:55 am | Updated April 25, 2024 08:12 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Visakhapatnam South constituency was formed in 2008 as per the delimitation orders.

Visakhapatnam South constituency was formed in 2008 as per the delimitation orders. | Photo Credit: File Photo

The decision to field MLC Ch. Vamsikrishna Srinivasa Yadav of the JSP against two-time MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar for Visakhapatnam South Assembly constituency was met with resentment from cadres of the alliance parties of TDP and BJP and even from a few sections of the JSP. The leaders opined that Mr. Yadav might not be the best choice for the constituency whose voters are predominantly from the fishermen’s community.

However, as his door-to-door campaign picked pace, Vamsikrishna managed to turn the tide in his favour with his intense electioneering, frequent meetings with the party cadres and interactive programmes with different communities in the election segment.

During the past few weeks, he has also seemed to earn the full support of TDP constituency in-charge Gandi Babjee, former Brahmin Corporation Chairman Sitharamaraju Sudhakar, and several corporate leaders.

One of the seven assembly constituencies in Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha, the Visakhapatnam South constituency, was formed in 2008 as per the delimitation orders. In 2009, senior politician Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao won from the Congress. In 2014 and 2019, Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar emerged victorious from the TDP.

TDP which once held sway in the constituency might now find it difficult to secure the seat as its leader Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar joined the YSRCP which gave him its MLA ticket there.

In a move to regain its hold, the TDP leadership appointed former MLA and senior politician Gandi Babjee as the in-charge of the South constituency. He has been actively organising the party programmes over the past few years and strengthening the cadre. However, the seat was later allotted to the JSP during the seat sharing.

Prominent voter communities in the South include fishermen (several communities), Muslims, Vaishyas, and Brahmins. A number of migrants have also settled here for decades and are engaged in various menial jobs.

This constituency is said to be different from the others because voters prioritize the candidate’s personality and goodwill while voting, irrespective of the political scenario at the State and Central levels. However, one has to wait for the election results to see if the voter perspective changes.

Sitting MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar, known as a strong contender who holds a grip on the constituency, has been organising a special grievance programme every Monday in the constituency and sees many people turning up. He is also known for efficiently taking YSRCP programmes like ‘Gadapa Gadapa Ki Mana Prabhutvam’ to the grassroots.

However, a section of the YSRCP corporators from the South Constituency have a different story to tell. They allege that Mr. Kumar objected to development in their wards. At least half a dozen corporators have complained to the YSRCP regional coordinator, Y.V. Subba Reddy, and demanded not to allot him the MLA ticket. Following the allotment of the ticket to Mr. Kumar, several corporators have joined the JSP and the TDP parties in protest.

Meanwhile, the JSP-TDP cadre, which includes the newly joined corporators who defected from YSRCP, has been strongly criticising the YSRCP, and they believe that people need a change. Mr. Yadav has been extensively taking forward the TDP-JSP’s super-six programme, besides stressing unemployment and the rise of essential commodities.

Long pending issues of pollution, lack of amenities in the wards, housing, lack of vending zones, development of fishing harbour and a few other areas issues are being highlighted. Besides, he is also banking on the youth and fans of his party president and actor Pawan Kalyan.

Headline: Visakhapatnam South Assembly constituency electorate

Intro: Prominent communities in the constituency include fishermen, Muslims, Vaishyas, and Brahmins

Total number of voters – 2,12,783

Male voters – 1,04,497

Female voters – 1,08,254

Transgender – 32

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