Fierce battle on cards in Ongole Assembly segment

The Ongole Assembly constituency has only two mandals—Ongole and Kothapatnam.
Representative Image
Representative ImagePhoto | Express

ONGOLE: The Ongole Assembly constituency, a key coastal region in Prakasam district, is the administrative capital of the district. With the highest number of voters (around 2.39 lakh), the segment plays a pivotal role in deciding the fate of the contenders in the coming elections.

Further as a district headquarters and stronghold of fishermen folks, its political mood radiates impact throughout the district and a few surrounding places which fall into the limits of neighbouring Bapatla and Nellore district. Since its inception in 1951, a total of 17 elections were held from 1952 to 2019, which gave an opportunity for people to elect many great public leaders and political stalwarts like ‘Andhra Kesari’ Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu, CR Reddy, BVL Narayana, S Jivaratnam Naidu and others.

While YSRC has fielded sitting MLA Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, who won Ongole MLA seat for a record five times, TDP nominated Damacharla Janardhana Rao to win back the segment. Besides Balineni and Damacharla, Turkapalli Naga Lakshmi (Congress) and Tatiparti Venkata Swamy (BSP) are also in the poll fray.

The Ongole Assembly constituency has only two mandals—Ongole and Kothapatnam. The residents of the constituency have been suffering from scarcity of potable water for a long time as there is no sufficient surface water available in Ongole Municipal Corporation (OMC) limits. The Ongole Municipal Corporation (OMC) authorities are drawing water from the Kandula Obula Reddy Gundlakamma Reservoir as well as from the Ramatheertham Balancing Reservoir near Chimakurthy to fill-up two Summer Storage (SS-1 & SS-2) tanks to cater the drinking water needs of the people.

With the efforts of MLA Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, the State government has sanctioned around Rs 400 crore for the water supply schemes and Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) works are underway. Another major issue is the pollution plaguing Pothuraju Canal. To address this problem, around Rs 100 crore was sanctioned by the government to start the desilting, expansion and revetment works of the canal. The government has also sanctioned around 22,000 houses to the urban poor families of the OMC limits.

However, Buckingham canal development works, Ethamukkala flyover works, city beautification works and other infrastructural development works are yet to be taken up.

In a bid to bank the anti-incumbency votes, TDP candidate Damacharla Janardhana Rao has intensified election campaigning to win over his rival Balineni Srinivasa Reddy. Exuding confidence that the tripartite alliance will form the government with thumping majority, he said, “People across the State are vexed with YS Jagan Reddy led YSRC government’s anti-public rule. I have a separate manifesto for the comprehensive development and welfare of the Ongole constituency people and immediately after forming the government, we will complete all our election promises, including tap water connections to every households, Pothuraju canal modernisation works, TIDCO houses to all eligible, beautification works, completion of Ethamukkala flyover and other key development works.”

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