Telangana

Going gets tough for Balram Naik

Lambadas and Adivasis opposing his candidature

Contrary to the expectations of the Congress that is counting on the Mahabubabad Lok Sabha seat, as it won four of the seven Assembly seats, party candidate P. Balram Naik is facing an uphill task within his own Lambada and rival Adivasi communities. They are opposing his candidature.

Though a well-known figure in the district having served as LS member and Union minister in the past, critics say he did not maintain contact with the masses and always stayed away from the constituency. Mr. Naik also contested for Mahabubabad Assembly seat in December 2018 and lost to TRS candidate B. Shankar Naik.

A popular Lambada community leader and founder of Lambada Hakkula Porata Samithi (LHPS) Bellaiah Naik found fault with the party leadership for allocating ticket to a person who lost the election two times consecutively. He said that he tried his best and his followers were demanding him to contest for the Mahabubabad Lok Sabha seat even as party rebel or Independent.

Congress performed well in the recent Assembly elections by winning four segments – Bhadrachalam, Pinapaka, Yellandu and Mulugu – out of the seven in Mahabubabad LS constituency. However, Ms. Haripriya Naik of Yellandu constituency and Rega Kanta Rao of Pinapaka decided to join the ruling TRS. These defections might affect the chances of the party this time.

Meanwhile, the Adivasi community leaders found fault with the Congress leadership for allotting the ticket to Lambadas much against the wishes of the Adivasi tribals. Adivasi community elder Chimala Venkateswarlu said his community was very angry with parties that only favoured the socio-economically sound Lambadas.

“Both tickets, Adilabad and Mahabubabad, are allotted to Lambadas. We are at the receiving end irrespective of political parties. Lambadas are able to manage to get tickets in all parties,” he rued. The Adivasis have been demanding that the Lambada community should be removed from the list of ST as they usurped the opportunities in education and jobs meant for the Adivasi tribals for decades.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 8:34:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/going-gets-tough-for-balram-naik/article26587207.ece

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