TDP, Cong, YSRC debutants test political waters in Vijayawada

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TDP, Cong, YSRC debutants test political waters in Vijayawada
Vijayawada, May 5: TDP, Congress and YSRC have put up debutants to test electoral waters in Vijaywada, dubbed as the "political capital" of (undivided) Andhra Pradesh, where three Koneru Prasads are also in the fray for the May 7 polls.

TDP has nominated Kesineni Srinivas alias Nani, a major transport operator in the state, while YSRC has fielded industrialist Koneru Rajendra Prasad, a co-accused in the Jaganmohan Reddy illegal assets case and currently out of jail on bail.

The Congress candidate is 26-year-old student leader Devineni Avinash, son of former minister Devineni Rajasekhar alias Nehru as sitting MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, who was suspended from the party after the infamous 'pepper spray' incident in Parliament, took political 'sanyas' protesting the state's bifurcation.

TDP is hoping to cash in on the 'Modi wave' following its alliance with BJP

 

Apart from YSRC candidate, there are two Independents by names Koneru Rajendra Prasad and Koneru Ramachandra Prasad in the fray, who may eat into the main candidate's votes and also confuse the voters. TDP is hoping to cash in on the 'Modi wave' following its alliance with BJP which is believed to have some influence in Vijayawada city and some rural pockets in the constituency.

The loan waiver promised to farmers and women self-help groups could help TDP. YSRC is largely dependent on the late YSR's "goodwill" while Congress will be hoping to overcome the strong anti- incumbency as well as the anger over the state's division, which is seen by many as "unilateral".

With 16 lakh voters, half of them women, spread over seven assembly segments, Vijayawada parliamentary constituency predominantly has a rural base, mostly the upland areas like Jaggaiahpet, Nandigama, Tiruvuru and Mylavaram where water for irrigation is scarce.

The Pulichintala balancing reservoir project is not yet complete even after a decade while the Rs 5,000 crore Krishna Delta Modernisation Project made no headway in the last six years. "Providing water for irrigation to the upland areas will be one of my priorities," YSRC's Prasad assures, adding that he will make it a clean and green city." Nani blames "non-locals" for the sorry state of affairs and assures that he would strive for the welfare and uplift of the poor and weaker sections.

"They still lack basic amenities and I will endeavour to ensure those amenities," he promises. Noted Bengali poet Harischandra Chattopadhyay was the first to get elected from Vijayawada parliamentary constituency in 1952.

Stalwarts like K L Rao, who served as Union Water Resources Minister, and P Upendra, who too was a minister in the National Front government, represented this historic city in Lok Sabha. The TDP won the seat, known as a Congress bastion, only three times so far in 1984, 1991 and 1999. 

PTI

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