KADAPA: Politically and geographically important Kadapa district in the Rayalaseema region is yet again getting ready for a TDP-YSRC election war for dominance.
The election in the district this time is being seen as a turf war between TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and YSRC chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
For the past two decades, the district has been the bastion of the Congress under YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s leadership and after that the YSRC. In the 2014 elections, the YSRC bagged nine out of the 10 Assembly seats. The TDP could only get 2, 1 and 1 seats out of the total 10 Assembly constituencies in 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections respectively.
Since its inception in 1983, the TDP had secured majority seats in the 1983, 1994 and 1999 elections, turning the district into its bastion. In 1988, the Congress managed to win majority seats but lost them in the subsequent elections.
Under YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s leadership, Congress regained its dominance in the district from 2004. After his demise, his son YS Jagan Mohan Reddy formed YSR Congress in 2011, which replaced the Congress in the district in the 2014 elections.
Now both the TDP and YSRC have taken 2019 elections as a prestigious issue and are striving hard to win a majority of the 10 Assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies in the district.
While Jagan is banking on the past glory of his father YS Rajasekhara Reddy, Chandrababu Naidu is relying on the welfare and development measures initiated by his government in Kadapa district in the last five years.
It was YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who strived for the development of the backward Kadapa district with a focus on education, health, irrigation, railways, and other sectors.
It was under his regime that Kadapa got RIMS hospital, medical and dental college, PG Centre upgraded to Yogi Vemana University, an Engineering college in Proddatur, JNTU in Pulivendula, IIIT in Idupulapaya, Central schools, Hyderabad Public School, ITI and polytechnic.
YSR’s efforts in getting Kadapa-Bangalore, Yerraguntla-Nandyal railway lines are undeniable. Modernisation of Kadapa airport and irrigation projects, including Gandikota project, were started by his government. Pulivendula and Kadapa towns have witnessed tremendous development, which made people favour the YSR family.
With an eye on retaining TDP’s lost glory in Kadapa, Chandrababu Naidu has been striving since day one in the office as Chief Minister after the 2014 elections.
He ensured that Gandikota project was completed and Krishna water got released to the project to fulfil his promise of making the region a horticulture hub.
He strived for the development of Kadapa Airport and today, it has flight services to Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Chennai. He also constructed Haj House in Kadapa at a cost of `12 crore.
After the TDP-BJP alliance break, TDP MP CM Ramesh and MLC BTech Ravi staged an indefinite fast demanding that the Centre set up a steel plant in Kadapa, as promised in the AP Reorganisation Act.
When there was no response from the Centre, the Chandrababu Naidu government decided to take up the project on its own and even laid the foundation stone for the project at Mylavaram.
Two years ago, YS Vivekananda Reddy’s defeat at the hands of BTech Ravi in the MLC elections is being shown as the TDP retaining its foothold in the YSRC turf.
Now, the murder of Vivekananda Reddy has become another issue, that may impact the poll prospects of both the parties in the district. Leaders of both the parties are engaged in a blame game over the issue to gain an advantage in the elections.