Unkept promises for two decades and migrations hit Rajampet segment

Of late, Rajampet Assembly constituency has become synonymous with neglect, residents in the region said.
Residents are unhappy that the government medical college, which was expected to be established in Rajampet, is now being built in Madanapalle.
Residents are unhappy that the government medical college, which was expected to be established in Rajampet, is now being built in Madanapalle.Photo | express

KADAPA: Unfulfilled promises from over two decades ago have taken centrestage in Rajampet during the election season.

Of late, Rajampet Assembly constituency has become synonymous with neglect, residents in the region said. They lamented that even during the reorganisation of the districts in the State, Rajampet was not made the district headquarters.

Formed in 1952 in the Madras Presidency, Rajampet Assembly constituency has witnessed 16 elections to date and has been represented by different parties, including the Communist Party, Congress, Swatantra Party, TDP, and YSRC.

While the YSRC has replaced incumbent MLA Meda Mallikarjuna Reddy with undivided Kadapa Zilla Parishad chairman Akepati Amarnath Reddy, the TDP has fielded former ZP chairperson Suvasi Bala Subrahmanyam.

To compensate the Meda family, YSRC president and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy made Mallikarjuna Reddy’s brother Meda Raghunatha Reddy a Rajya Sabha member.

The constituency has six mandals under its purview: Rajampet, Siddavatam, Vontimitta, Nandalur, Veeraballe, and T Sundupalle. In the 2019 elections, Meda Mallikarjuna Reddy defeated Bathyala Changal Rayudu of TDP with a majority of 35,272 votes. In 2014, too, Mallikarjun Reddy had won from the segment, but on a TDP ticket.

A look at the demography shows that Rajampet has Balija, Reddy, Raju, BC, SC, and ST voters. While Reddy and Balija communities play a vital role in determining the poll outcome, the contenders have also focussed on BCs and SCs, as they too can influence the results.

Residents are unhappy that the government medical college, which was expected to be established in Rajampet, is now being built in Madanapalle.

They have expressed dissatisfaction over Rayachoti being made the district headquarters. They have also raised concerns over the government’s failure in setting up an alternate industrial unit following the closure of Hyderabad Allwyn, which used to provide jobs for 1,000 people.

After the Steamed Engine Railway Loco Shed was shut down over two decades ago, Lalu Prasad Yadav, when he was the Union railway minister, had promised an alternative railway project in the region. However, there has been no progress on that front. Annamayya and Pincha irrigation projects, which were severely damaged in the flash floods two years ago, remain unattended with the repair and reconstruction works being postponed for one or the other reason. Though the constituency has more land under horticulture, there is no food processing industry or cold storage, let alone a big industry to address the unemployment problem in the region.

Phase-2 works for Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanthi (GNSS), vital for providing water to the region, have been put on hold. Demand for additional rakes in trains to transport horticulture produce, too, has been ignored. With no proper job avenues, more and more youngsters have been migrating to Gulf countries. The failure of subsequent governments in keeping promises will impact the poll outcome in all likelihood.

“Just take Rajampet town for example. There are no proper roads and no infrastructure development. The promised model market is yet to take shape. Annamayya project is yet to be repaired even after two years of devastation. With no big industry, migration of youth continues,” K Ramesh Babu of Rajampet town rued.

Speaking to TNIE, YSRC candidate Akepati Amarnath Reddy maintained that the government has focused on both development and welfare. He asserted that justice will be done to all sections. Citing Rajampet as an example of YSRC’s assurances being empty promises, TDP candidate Balasubrahmanyam said, “The segment’s fate will change only after there is a change in power.”

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