Kammas get lion’s share in 1st Telugu Desam list

Candidates from the SC communities got 18 seats, STs four and Muslims two.

Vijayawada: True to its image of patronising Kammas whose population is very low in the state, the TD allotted 32 seats to the community in the just-released first list of Assembly candidates. In the present Assembly, there are 33 Kamma legislators representing various political parties.

For the 175-member Assembly, TD supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu released the names of 126 candidates late on Thursday night. People from the Backward Classes got 31 seats though their population is highest in the state at 37 per cent, including 143 traditional caste groups. Kammas number only 4.8 per cent.

Candidates from the SC communities got 18 seats, STs four and Muslims two. Most Kamma candidates are from Krishna and Guntur districts that form the new capital region.

In the first list, Mr Naidu gave tickets to 83 sitting candidates. Women got around 15 seats out of the 126, or 11 per cent.

Overall, open category caste groups got 72 seats.

In 13 segments, new faces were given a chance. Fourteen YSRC MLAs who defected to the TD were also given tickets in the first list. Mr Naidu is likely to release the names of the pending 49 segments in a day or two.

Kammas seem to be the most sought-after faces for all political parties in the capital region spread over Krishna and Guntur districts. Be it the YSRC, Jana Sena or TD, all the main political parties are wooing this influential caste into their fold.

Though they number less than 5 per cent of the Andhra Pradesh population, wealthy Kammas wield a lot of influence in most constituencies in both the districts.

While the TD has always been traditionally identified with Kammas, YSRC chief Y.S Jaga.n Mohan Reddy too wants Kamma faces from the two districts in his party.

Currently of the total 34 assembly constituencies in both Krishna and Guntur districts, more than 1/4th are represented by Kamma MLAs from political parties like the TD, YSRC and BJP.

While the YSRC and BJP have one each Kamma MLA from Krishna district, the TD has 11 Kamma MLAs from both the districts. Interestingly out of the five Lok Sabha segments in the capital region, three are represented by Kammas.

The number of Kamma MLAs shows the importance all political parties give to Kammas in the capital region. Interestingly out of all 33 Kamma MLAs of Andhra Pradesh, most of them are from these two districts.

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