YSRCP’s K.K. Raju is fighting his first electoral battle from Visakhapatnam North and is pitted against seasoned rivals HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao and BJP’s P. Vishnu Kumar Raju, representing the constituency.
But Mr. Raju says he is not overawed by the presence of heavyweights in the constituency.
A realtor Mr. Raju has been taking active interest in politics since 2004. Though he is not involved directly in politics, he keenly observed the political scenario on how candidates managed their campaign and how winning candidates went about campaigning etc.
Mr. Raju says he has been associated with YSRCP since Mr. Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy founded the party. “Besides I was involved in the campaign of Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha nominee Y.S. Vijayamma in the 2014 election managing the back office,” he said.
Being the coordinator of the North Assembly constituency, he held a large number of booth level and street meetings, a public meeting and BC Garjana meeting.
“I am confident of facing the two leaders because of the strong networking I have done at the ground-level. It is difficult to come anywhere near it in the short-term,” Mr. Raju told The Hindu .
Mr. Srinivasara Rao also could not disturb the well-knit network in the short-term since his candidature was announced only very recently, he said. Also after YSRCP announced nominees for the North there were no rival claims or any disturbance about his being appointed, Mr. Raju said.
Exuding confidence that the YSRCP vote is intact, he sees a split in the TDP-BJP vote in the constituency after their parting the ways having contested together in 2014.
Pusupuleti Ushakiran, who had quit YSRCP and joined Jana Sena Party, is contesting from the constituency. Mr. Raju says the cadre remained with the party.