Vijayawada: Gurazala Assembly constituency will witness a fierce contest between the Telugu Desam and YSR Congress.
The TD has given the ticket to its sitting MLA Yarapathineni Srinivasa Rao, a Kamma, while Kasu Mahesh Reddy, who is contesting his first election, is hoping that his family image and anti-incumbency, will help the YSRC win.
However, it will not be so easy for Mr Mahesh Reddy as Srinivasa Rao has won the seat for the TD three times.
One a Communist bastion due to the presence of workers in large numbers in the lime kilns and industries, Gurazala constituency has about 31,304 Muslim voters, 27,515 Kamma voters and 25,300 Reddy voters. Madigas make up for over 27,000 voters and Kapus 25,595. There are over 17,000 Vaddera voters.
The Communist influence waned after NTR founded the TD and Julakanti Ranga Reddy won the Gurazala seat in 1983. The TD went on to win in 1985, 1994, 2009 and 2014.
Mr Srinivas won the seat in 1994 and 2009 and 2014 and is confident of repeating his performance.
Interestingly Gurazala is famous for factionism and Mr Srinivas lives in Guntur for safety.
Mr Srinivas is close to TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and says he is relying on his good work to win again. He told this correspondent that he has been working for development of the constituency and had struggled to get funds.
“This time, the TD government sanctioned the required funds hence basic amenities, including medical facilities, have been developed in the constituency,” the TD contestant said.
YSRC president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy announced Kasu Mahesh Reddy as the candidate for Gurazala last year and he started campaigning.
Mr Mahesh Reddy alleged that the TD government had tried to suppress YSRC cadre in the past four years and alleged that Mr Srinivas and other TD leaders looted public money by being involved in illegal mining.
He said that YSRC had filed a petition in the High Court forcing the state government to order a probe that exposed irregularities involving TD leaders.
Meanwhile, Jana Sena and BJP have not yet announced their candidates and are expected to do so anytime soon....