Hyderabad: AP Assembly Speaker and two-time winner from the Tenali Assembly Constituency, the Congress’ Mr Nadendla Manohar, is trailing behind his rival candidates from Telugu Desam and YSR Congress in the race for “Andhra Paris” seat.
Despite several crores worth of development works taken up by Mr Manohar, voters are not keen on voting for the Congress due to the anti incumbency factor and the state division. The fight is now neck and neck between Mr Alapati Rajendraprasad of TD and Mr Annabattuni Siva Kumar of YSRC.
Mr P. Satyanarayana, a resident of Nandivelugu in Tenali mandal said, “Manohar has done good work. But now the fight is only between YSRC and TD as the Speaker has to take the brunt of the united Andhra agitation.”
The Tenali constituency with 2.25 lakh votes consists of Tenali municipality, Tenali rural mandal and Kollipara mandals. Though all the three candidates belong to the Kamma community, it is the pro Jagan and pro Naidu caste composition that has become the deciding factor in the elections.
While the YSRC candidate is banking on welfare schemes of the late YSR and the poll promises of Jagan, Mr Manohar is citing his development works while campaigning. The TD, meanwhile, sees Mr Chandrababu Naidu’s development plank for Seemandhra as the key factor for getting positive results.
D. Prasad, a trader who runs a paan-cum-stationary shop near the Tenali railway station said, “TD candidate Raja has political experience as he is a two-time MLA. This is coming in handy for him against the novice Shiva Kumar of YSRC. Vysya Community is split between the ‘Fan’ and ‘Cycle’. But during the past 10 days, the balance has shifted in favour of YSRC.”
It was the Kollipara area with large Reddy votes that had helped Mr Manohar win the race against Mr Alapati Raja in 2009 with a majority of 2,884 votes. But this time Kollipara is tilting towards the YSRC.
However, the Kapu votes will be spilt between TD and YSRC in Tenali mandal and that will decide who will bag the seat.
Dr Koti Nagaiah, a well-known doctor in Tenali town who is contesting with a Samaikyandhra Party ticket, also hails from the Kapu community.
Interestingly, film star Pawan Kalyan’s influence on Kapu voters seems to be negligible. Only a handful of youth, numbering less then 10, were seen going to Guntur for the Modi-Naidu-Pavan meet with Jana Sena flags on their bikes.
Twenty-five-year old Mr K. Mani, an ardent fan of Pawan Kalyan in Tenali town, said, “It is taking time for bringing fans of Pawan Kalyan back after the Praja Rajyam debacle. But we are hoping that Pawan’s campaign will slowly bear fruit and help the TD candidate.”
One Mr Eswar Nayak of Sultanabad said, “There is ‘Fan’ wave among the downtrodden as we have benefited from YSR’s schemes and Shiva also promised to get registration pattas for house sites.”
The Congress’ MP candidate, Mr Shail Abdul Waheed, meanwhile is a weak nominee and this is also going against Mr Manohar whose father, former Chief Minister Nadendla Bhaskar Rao, was the MLA of Tenali in 1989.
YSRC candidate Mr A. Siva Kumar said, “As a whole the party is doing well and I have no criminal record. I own degree, PG and Pharmacy colleges and hundreds of students pass out from them and are placed on campus. My father A. Satyanarayana won twice from Tenali and served as minister and it will work in my favour,”
TD candidate Mr Alapati Rajendraprasad, meanwhile, has six criminal cases booked against him in Mangalagiri rural, Tenali and Kukatpally under the Cyberabad Police Commissionerate. The cases include serious offences of criminal conspiracy and cheating apart from cases for violations of the AP Police Act.