Andhra Pradesh

Jupally faces tough task as Aruna breathes down his neck


Once a bastion of the Maoists, this backward constituency spread along the course of Krishna is witnessing the bitterest by-poll ever with former Minister Jupally Krishna Rao sweating it out to retain the seat, this time on the TRS ticket.

Breathing down his neck is arch rival Minister for Information and Public Relations D. K. Aruna, who is determined to see that the former Minister turned staunch Telangana protagonist and TRS nominee does not retain the seat. She is single handedly spearheading the Congress campaign for her party candidate M. Vishnuvardhan Reddy. The TDP has fielded C. Jagadeeshwar Rao.

It is a strange coincidence that Mr. Vishnuvardhan Reddy till recently was the TRS leader in the constituency but decided to switch parties after Mr. Krishna Rao quit his seat and membership of the Congress party. It was Mr. Reddy, who partly ensured the victory of Mr. Jupally in the 2009 elections after he entered the fray as an independent protesting the allotment of seat to the TDP as part of seat adjustments between poll allies.

In the tri-angular fight, the former Minister is still ahead of others but the gap is said to be closing down. While the Congress and the TDP have a dedicated organisational base at the grass-root level, the TRS has been unable to cultivate the same.

Mr. Jupally faces anti-incumbency factor but is hoping to gain from the Telangana sentiment and in-fighting among the Congress leaders. Congress MP from Nagarkurnool Manda Jagannath, who wanted former Minister G. Chinna Reddy to be fielded, has kept away from the campaign.

The Congress candidate is banking on the support of the 40,000 strong voters belonging to the Reddy community.Bitter rival earlier, Mr. Jagadeeswar Rao and former MLA K. Madhusudhan Rao have recently patched up, giving some respite for the TDP.

Kollapur hit the headlines in 1993 when 11 police personnel, including the then Mahabubnagar SP G. Pardesi Naidu, were killed in a landmine blast triggered by the People's War Group. The constituency partly straddles Nallamala forests, where the naxalite movement is reported regularly. For over two decades, the constituency witnessed complete sway of the naxalites forcing the landlord to flee the villages and settle down in Kurnool or Hyderabad. It was only after police declared it naxal free in 2007 that a semblance of normal activity is witnessed in the constituency.

(Inputs by Ravi Reddy in Hyderabad)

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 8:41:05 PM |

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