Balakrishna Faces Tough Fight in Hindupur

Anantapur: Hindupur assembly constituency is the long-held fortress of the Telugu Desam. Film star Nandamuri Balakrishna of the TD is trying for a hattrick victory in the present polls there, but his going is getting tough in many areas.

While Muslim voters and BCs are the deciding factors in Hindupur, the YSRC is focusing attention on these sections. Balakrishna, on his part, is campaigning even in streets and small villages in the segment to outwit the YSRC. Along with Balakrishna, his wife Vasundhara and daughter are campaigning in the assembly segment.

Even the Congress, apart from the YSRC, had tried seriously to break the stronghold of the TD in Hindupur, where party founder NT Rama Rao won the seat thrice and his elder son Nandamuri Harikrishna once. At present, Nandamuri Balakrishna is the MLA for the second term from the constituency. He is in the race for a third time.

As Hindupur remained a strong base for the TD, every experiment made by the Congress and the YSRC failed in all the elections since 1985. NT Rama Rao chose this segment for his first electoral fight and he won the seat thrice, became chief minister twice and he functioned as leader of opposition too from the Hindupur seat.

People continued to support the Telugu Desam and NTR’s sons - Nandamuri Hari Krishna and Nandamuri Balakrishna and some other TD candidates won from Hindupur in successive polls.

The Congress had tried to grab Hindupur by fielding JC Prabhakar Reddy against NT Rama Rao, but NTR had the last laugh. The YSRC did an experiment by fielding former IG Md Iqbal against Nandamuri Balakrishna in the hope that minority votes would be the deciding factor in the 2019 general polls. But Balakrishna had a cake walk for the second time.

Interestingly, Md Iqbal later quit the YSRC even though he was, alternatively, given an opportunity to be an MLC.

YSRC Rayalaseema regional coordinator and minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, who was given the responsibility of Anantapur district, has introduced K Deepika, a BC candidate and a new face, as the party incharge a few months ago and the party later announced her candidature.

Ramachandra Reddy toured Hindupur assembly segment along with the party’s assembly candidate Deepika, and met voters at every gram panchayat a month ago.

He was trying to garner support from BCs and Muslims. He said the people of Hindupur are with the YSRC due to the rolling out of welfare programmes by Jagan Mohan Reddy during the last five years.

The presence of an independent candidate from the Muslim community might have a negative impact on Balayya, who depended on their votes during the previous polls.

YSRC sources say only rural parts were favourable for the TD in the past few polls, but “a majority of the people of Hindupur town favoured Jagan Reddy.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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