Venkatagiri Rajas and weavers may sway outcome

The Venkatagiri Rajas have a significant influence in the region and many a times play the role of kingmakers.
The royal family has followers in Venkatagiri municipality, rural, Dakkili, Balayapalli and also in some other parts of the constituency.
The royal family has followers in Venkatagiri municipality, rural, Dakkili, Balayapalli and also in some other parts of the constituency.

NELLORE: Venkatagiri Assembly constituency is poised for a gripping electoral showdown with the YSRC and TDP nominating candidates hailing from prominent political families.

While the YSRC has fielded Nedurumalli Ramkumar Reddy, the son of former chief minister N Janardhana Reddy, the TDP has roped in Kurugondla Lakshmi Sai Priya, the daughter of two-time former Venkatagiri MLA Kurugondla Ramakrishna.

The Venkatagiri Rajas have a significant influence in the region and many a times play the role of kingmakers. The royal family played a crucial role in the victory of TDP candidates in 2009 and 2014. However, now it appears that the Venkatagiri Rajas have been moving away from the TDP and towards the YSRC.

Venkatagiri Rajas have extended their support to the TDP since the party’s inception. The royal family has followers in Venkatagiri municipality, rural, Dakkili, Balayapalli and also in some other parts of the constituency.

In fact, TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu has also asked Kurugondla Ramakrishna and his daughter Lakshmi Priya to seek support of the Venkatagiri Rajas to secure votes in the elections.

Kurugondla Ramakrishna won from the constituency during 2009 and 2014 general elections from TDP. In 2004 and 1999 elections, Congress candidate Nedurumalli Rajyalakshmi bagged the seat. However, Ramakrishna was defeated in 2019 by YSRC’s Anam Ramnarayana Reddy.

Anam had switched over to the YSRC from the TDP in 2018. However, he was suspended over allegations of cross voting. Following this, he returned to the TDP-fold and is now contesting from Atmakur constituency.

The fourth largest municipality in Nellore district, Venkatagiri still does not have proper drainage facility in the town. Established as a Grade-III municipality by merging six gram panchayats, Venkatagiri faces severe congestion due to a lack of proper roads.

A number of traders visit the town to purchase sarees and dress materials as Venkatagiri is famous for its handlooms. With 40,000 voters, weavers comprise a sizable chunk of the Backward Class vote pie. Hence, candidates of both parties have been directed to focus on weaver-centric policies in their local manifestos.

Stressing the need for a proper drainage system, K Vasu of Ontel Street rued, “Sewage water has been stagnant in open spaces which has resulted in rampant mosquito menace. There is no system to clear the stagnated water. Repeated appeals to civic officials regarding the issue has fallen on deaf ears.”

Alleging that the YSRC government has neither developed Venkatagiri nor the State, TDP nominee Lakshmi Priya said she has plans to develop the town in all aspects. “People are ready to elect Chandrababu Naidu as chief minister as he has a vision to take the State on the path of development,” she asserted.

Following Anam’s suspension, the YSRC gave responsibilities to Ramkumar to oversee the party’s activities in Venkatagiri constituency.

Stating that the ruling YSRC has implemented welfare programmes and taken up development works in Venkatagiri segment, Ramkumar exuded confidence and said, “People will embrace Jagan as he has fulfilled all promises made during the last elections.” He added that the YSRC was moving forward with the goal of winning 175 seats in the upcoming elections under the leadership of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

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