Kuppam Turns Campaign Hotspot, Naidu Struggles Hard To Defend His Citadel

Tirupati: In a departure from his longstanding practice, Telugu Desam president Nara Chandrababu Naidu has begun an aggressive campaign in his home constituency of Kuppam ahead of the elections.

Naidu had in the past avoided campaigning for himself in Kuppam during the polls as he was sure of winning the assembly seat. In the past two days, however, he held several roadshows, public meetings, door-to-door campaigns and closed-door interactions with party workers and supporters.

This is in the backdrop of the ruling YSRC’s concerted efforts to penetrate Naidu’s long-standing bastion and, if possible, defeat him.

Naidu's majority in Kuppam dwindled to around 30,000 votes in the 2019 elections. The YSRC made inroads into these areas during the local body polls and wants to win the assembly seat this time under the ‘Why Not 175’ slogan.

“Naidu understands the gravity of the situation for both himself and the TD," said political analyst Dr Ramakrishna Reddy.

Being mindful of the precarious situation, Naidu has adopted a proactive approach, viewing the present polls as a make-or-break scenario for his personal and political future and for the TD's prospects. During his whirlwind campaign in Kuppam, the TD chief sought to reinforce his deep-rooted connection with the constituency's electorate and highlighted his achievements as a seven-time MLA from the region.

The TD chief has appealed to voters to grant him an unprecedented one-lakh majority as he contests the polls for an eighth consecutive term from Kuppam. he represented it ever since he shifted his base from Chandragiri in 1989.

Naidu had won his maiden election as MLA on a Congress ticket from Chandragiri in 1978.

"The scenario has completely changed now. With the YSRC's concerted efforts to unsettle Naidu's stronghold and in view of the narrowing down of his victory margin in Kuppam in the previous polls, the TD chief is doubly alert about retaining the seat this time,” Dr. Reddy observed.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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