Nellore: Gateway to India's space port Sullurpeta constituency is witnessing a battle between former minister and three-time legislator from the segment, Parasa Rathnam of TD, and sitting legislator Kiliveti Sanjeevaiah of YSRC.
Despite spectacular development on the industrial front with the establishment of manufacturing units of Apachi footwear, ISUZU, Kellogs and a host of internationally reputed products at Sri City SEZ, the region is plagued with problems.
The administration has time and again failed to mitigate severe shortage of drinking water at Sullurpeta. The fast developing town also lacks underground drainage.
Many of the coastal villages do not have proper road connectivity and any move by the authorities is thwarted by forest department citing wildlife restrictions pertaining to Nelapattu and Pulicat Bird Sanctuaries.
The government also failed to address decades old demand of fishermen to make Pulicat lake a free zone for fishing. The lake dries up on the AP side during summer months but there is no such issue on the Tamil Nadu side.
However, fishermen from AP are not able to venture on to the TN side for fishing because of zonal restrictions. They will be roughed up and abducted if they trespass into TN waters. Higher officials from the two states are forced to intervene at regular intervals to get the kidnapped fishermen of AP released from their counterparts in TN.
Making Pulicat a free zone would benefit nearly 10,000 fishermen families from AP who depend on fishing in Pulicat. A solace for denizens of Sullurpeta town, which has thousands of employees of ISRO, is the sanction of `160 crore drinking water scheme for the town a few months back.
In the 2014 election, TD lost the seat to YSRC allegedly because of differences between leaders and the then party nominee Parasa Rathnam. The leaders reportedly wanted to field a new candidate this time but Parasa Rathnam managed to convince TD chief Chandrababu Naidu to allot the ticket to him once again.
The TD politics in Sullurpeta segment revolve around TTD Board member and senior TD leader Venati Ramachandra Reddy, MLC Vakati Narayana Reddy and an industrialist; Ganga Prasad.
The CM has persuaded all these leaders to work for the success of Rathnam. In case YSRC nominee Kileveti Sanjeevaiah, wins, the party strongly believes that it would be the first seat they are going to win in Nellore district.
However TD leaders are confident of victory in view of development works implemented in Naidupeta and Sullurpeta mandals besides welfare schemes of Chandrababu Naidu.
There are 2,31,638 voters in Sullurpeta including 1,13,736 male, 1,17,850 women and 53 third gender.
A native of Sullurpeta, Venkateswarlu said there would have been 20,000 more voters if officials or politicians took initiative to enrol thousands of people migrated to Sullurpeta and Tada areas and working in several industries.
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