Unemployed youths are also against the BRS in the constituency, with many of them rallying around MBA graduate M.D. Ghouse, who is running a meat shop to earn a livelihood. (Image: DC)
Kothagudem: The battle for Kothagudem is set to be a three-way fight between the BRS incumbent Vanama Venkateswara Rao, CPI state secretary Kunamneni Sambasiva Rao and BRS rebel Jalagam Venkatrao, who will contest as an independent candidate.
Jalagam Venkatrao won the Kothagudem constituency on a BRS ticket in 2014 but lost in 2018 to Vanama Venkateswara Rao, then of the Congress. Venkateswara Rao subsequently joined the BRS.
With the Congress supporting the CPI candidate as part of an alliance here, Venkateswara Rao will face a tough fight as Jalagam Venkatrao is proving to be an active part of the constituency with access to the incumbent limited, locals say.
"We have two MLAs in Vanama Venkateswara Rao and his son Vanama Raghavendra in the constituency. But it was very difficult for us to meet the MLA in bringing local issues to his notice. Locals are still confused whether the father or the son is the MLA," said M.A. Sattar, a resident of Railway Road in Kothagudem.
Seventy-year-old Sattar, who would be casting his vote for the tenth time, said Venkateswara Rao neglected the constituency by failing to take up developmental works for the past few years. "Change of candidate is imminent in Kothagudem in the Assembly elections," Sattar said.
CPI’s Kunamneni Sambasiva Rao is also a tough candidate, with political observers predicting Venkatrao to split the BRS vote bank and put Rao in the pole position.
They said that caste equations in the constituency also favoured the CPI, citing alleged criminal activities and the involvement of MLA’s son in a case of abetment to suicide as factors that may weaken the incumbent’s grip on the seat.
Unemployed youths are also against the BRS in the constituency, with many of them rallying around MBA graduate M.D. Ghouse, who is running a meat shop to earn a livelihood.
"I went to Hyderabad in search of a job. I prepared for competitive exams but the exams were delayed and I am vexed with the government over jobs. I returned to Kothagudem and started my own business of running a chicken shop," Ghouse said.
2014: Jalagam Venkatrao wins on BRS ticket, beating out Congress’ Vanama Venkateswara Rao by 16,521 votes.
2018: Congress’ Vanama Venkateswara Rao beats Jalagam Venkatrao by 4,139 votes and later joins the BRS.