YSRC better placed in Bapatla Assembly seat

Bapatla Assembly constituency comprises three mandals: Bapatla, Pittalavanipalem and Karlavaripalem.
The segment was a bastion of the Congress.
The segment was a bastion of the Congress.

GUNTUR: Bapatla is set to witness a keen tussle as the YSRC is eyeing to win hat-trick, while the TDP is striving to make its mark. While YSRC has fielded sitting MLA Kona Raghupathi, TDP gave ticket to industrialist and philanthropist Vegesana Narendra Varma.

Bapatla Assembly constituency comprises three mandals: Bapatla, Pittalavanipalem and Karlavaripalem. The segment was a bastion of the Congress.

Majority voters in the segment belong to the Reddy community. However, YSRC succeeded in wresting the seat from the grand old party. Sitting MLA and former deputy speaker Kona Raghupathi has won two the segment consecutively in 2014 and 2019. The Kona family has a stronghold in the area with Raghupati’s father Kona Prabhakar Rao was elected as MLA from the constituency three times in 1967, 1972, and 1978.

Ex-minister and YSRC senior leader Gade Venkatreddy had tried hard to make his heir Madhusudhan Reddy as MLA, counting on the support from Reddy voters, who are high in number in the region. But the high command selected Kona for the third consecutive time to gain the support of Brahmin voters.

The TDP suffered a setback when former TDP MLC Annam Satish Prabhakar, a strong leader in the region, after losing Assembly elections in 2014 and 2019, resigned from the TDP and joined BJP. However, later the party appointed Vegesana as constituency in-charge who has taken up various public outreach programmes to strengthen the party cadre at the grassroots level and build himself as a strong leader.

With the BJP banking on the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya for securing votes, it will be interesting to witness whether Brahmin voters will go with Kona once again or choose the NDA.

However, it looks like the YSRC is at an advantage in the segment as it fulfilled the long-pending demand of people with the formation of Bapatla district and established Bapatla town as the district headquarters.

Additionally, the construction of a bypass road, medical college, and a 500-bed government hospital, infrastructure development, and welfare schemes are likely to play a significant part in the poll outcome.

K Dinanath, a retired government officer and resident of Bapatla town, opined that the town has witnessed a lot of development over the last few years. “The set up of government hospitals will help the rural people not to rush to Bapatla town for treatment and the construction of the bypass road will ease traffic woes in the town,” he added.

Lakshmi Priya, another resident, said that her family has benefited from schemes implemented by the YSRC government. “Especially, my children are getting quality education in government school. However, with increasing population due to urbanisation of the town, sufficient water supply has become a major issue. Leaders should highlight this,” she added.Sharing his perspective, A Ramanath, said TDP’s Super 6 are much better than the welfare schemes being implemented by the YSRC government. “I’ve complete faith that Chandrababu Naidu will fulfil his promises and develop capital, if TDP comes to power in the upcoming elections,” he added.

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