TDP’s experiments ensured rich political dividends in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts

The party made a huge experiment in the Srikakulam Assembly seat by fielding Gondu Shankar, a political novice, against YSRCP candidate and Minister for Revenue Dharmana Prasada Rao, which ultimately worked in their favour as the former defeated the latter

Published - June 04, 2024 06:58 pm IST - VIZIANAGARAM/SRIKAKULAM

Kimidi Kala Venkata Rao

Kimidi Kala Venkata Rao

Gondu Shankar

Gondu Shankar


The Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) experiment with new faces and their decision to contest leaders from different constituencies ensured rich political dividends for the party in Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts. TDP MP candidate Kalisetti Appala Naidu, who won with a majority of over two lakh, had actually sought the Etcherla Assembly segment. However, the party chose him as a candidate for the MP seat, as the Etcherla segment was allocated to BJP as part of the alliance agreement.

The Etcherla segment comes under Srikakulam district, but is part of Vizianagaram Lok Sabha constituency. Mr. Appala Naidu, who previously worked as in-charge of north Andhra TDP internal training centre, managed to ensure his victory as he got acquainted with all the local leaders just before the general elections.

TDP’s another political experiment was in Cheepurupalli, and it also proved successful. They fielded former Home Minister Kimidi Kala Venkata Rao from Cheepurupalli, who emerged victorious by defeating YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) nominee and Minister for Education Botcha Satyanarayana, with a comfortable margin of 10,000 votes.

In fact, Mr. Venkata Rao had also sought the Etcherla seat as he had won from the segment many times previously. He was reluctant to contest from Cheepurupalli as his brother Ganapati Rao’s son Mr. Nagarjuna was in-charge of the constituency for the last four years. However, the final result fell in favour of TDP.

The party also offered ticket to entrepreneur and TDP leader Kondapalli Srinivas, instead of former MLA K.A. Naidu, in Gajapathinagaram. He defeated YSRCP nominee Botcha Appalanarasayya, brother of Minister for Education Botcha Satyanarayana.

However, the real experiment happened in Srikakulam Assembly, as the TDP high command fielded Gondu Shankar, a political novice, against YSRCP candidate and Minister for Revenue Dharmana Prasada Rao. The party denied ticket to former MLA Gunda Lakshmi Devi and chose Mr. Shankar as he had proved his talent as the president of Srikakulam Sarpanches’ Association. Mr. Shankar was able to defeat Mr. Prasada Rao, who had the best winning track record in Srikakulam district, so far.

The party also acquired a positive result in Pathapatnam, where they fielded Mamidi Govinda Rao, instead of former MLA Kalamata Venkataramana, who was later made president of the Srikakulam Parliamentary party wing. Mr. Govinda Rao defeated sitting MLA Reddi Shanti with a respectable margin. The party also gave industrialist Bonela Vijaya Chandra a chance in Parvatipuram instead of Bobbili Chiranjeevulu. Mr. Vijaya Chandra emerged victorious after defeating the YSRCP candidate and sitting MLA Alajangi Jogarao.

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