Andhra Pradesh

In the footsteps of NTR, Chiranjeevi and Jayalalithaa

Pawan Kalyan

Pawan Kalyan  

Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan follows matinee idols in two-segment tradition

Following his predecessors from the silver screen, Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan has decided to contest from the Bhimavaram and the Gajuwaka Assembly constituencies.

Matinee idols and silver screen queens who scripted their own pages in the history of Indian politics preferred to contest from more than one constituency. Be it TDP founder president N.T. Rama Rao (NTR) or Praja Rajyam Party (PRP, now merged with the Congress) founder K. Chiranjeevi or Jayalalithaa of AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.

Why they do so? Probably, it could be to avoid humiliation from a defeat. Even the formidable NTR suffered one in the Kalwakurthy Assembly constituency, one of the two seats he contested in 1989. Ms. Jayalalithaa, in 1996, lost election from the Bargur Assembly constituency, the only seat she contested from. If these leaders lost their battle not when they contested the first time, Mr. Chiranjeevi, popularly known as Chiru among his fans, had to face it on his debut. He lost from Palacole in his native West Godavari district in coastal Andhra, though he could win from Tirupati in 2009. He was defeated by B Usha Rani of the Congress by over 5,000 votes in Palacole. He did not contest elections thereafter.

NTR, on his debut in 1983, contested from Gudivada and Tirupati, winning both. He was elected from three different constituencies from three regions of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh in the March 1985 elections — Gudivada on the coast, Nalgonda in Telangana and Hindupur in Rayalaseema. In 1989, he contested from Hindupur and Kalwakurthy in Mahbubnagar district. He lost Kalwakurthy by a narrow margin to Congress candidate J. Chittaranjan Das and retained his Hindupur seat. Ms. Jayalalithaa contested from Kangeyam and Bargur winning from both places in 1991.

There may be multiple reasons behind their plans to contest from more than one constituency. Probably, they might feel that one seat is undoubtedly not safe. It could be a backup plan. And, if the lady luck smiles on them, they may even win both of them and it gives an opportunity to boast about their capabilities to win from any seat.

Over the years, several senior leaders have contested from two constituencies in the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections. Some contested even three until 1996, when an amendment to the Representation of the People Act, 1951, restricted to two the number of seats one could contest.

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An earlier version of this article mentioned Chiranjeevi won Assembly elections in 1999. It should be 2009.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 1:41:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/in-the-footsteps-of-ntr-chiru-and-jayalalithaa/article26594188.ece

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