Vijayawada: The main contest for the Machilipatnam (Bandar) Assembly constituency is expected to be between sitting MLA Kollu Ravindra of the TD, former MLA Perni Venkata Ramaiah (Nani) of the YSRC and Bandi Ramakrishna of the Jana Sena, though the Congress, BJP and others have fielded their own candidates.
Kapus form the biggest block of voters in this constituency and had in the past made the election one-sided.
Mr Ravindra is from Agnikula Kshatriya community with both Mr Venkata Ramaiah and Mr Ramakrishna are Kapus.
Taking this into consideration, the Jana Sena candidate is expected to split the Kapu vote and hurt the YSRC in this segment.
Machilipatnam constituency has 1,82,395 registered voters, with 93,251 women, 89,832 male and 12 transgenders.
Kapus form nearly one-fourth of the total voters, numbering about 44,000 voters, followed by Agnikula Kshatriya at an estimated 24,500 voters, 15,500 Gowdas and nearly 14,000 Muslims.
Close behind in terms of numbers are Yadava and Vysya voters numbering 13,800 and 12,000 respectively. SC Mala number about 9,000 and Madigas 6,000 voters.
Almost all BCs supported Mr Ravindra in 2014 and the party expects this support to last. However, Jana Sena candidate Ramakrishna is very popular with the SCs and is likely to damage Mr Venkata Ramaiah electorally.
Traditionally, Madigas support the TD, but MRPS founder Krishna Madiga has called upon the community not to vote for the party this time around.
The Agnikula Kshatriyas and most of the BCs are expected to support Mr Ravindra. Muslim, Vysya and SC voters can play a key role in the elections.
It appears unlikely that the Congress and BJP candidates would have any impact on the result in the constituency.
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