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Kapus and the Demands of Electoral Politics

Published: 01st February 2016 04:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st February 2016 04:48 AM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: The demand for BC status to Kapus has been hanging fire for several years, however, it only now that the demand gained fresh momentum in the changed electoral scenario in the reorganised Andhra Pradesh.

The fact is that numerically strong Kapus in the reorganised State have become crucial in deciding the electoral fortunes of any political party, post-bifurcation. Since Kapus are present in the entire coastal Andhra and several parts of Rayalaseema, almost every political party tries to win over them.  That was the reason why the TDP during the 2014 general elections persuaded film-actor-turned-politico Pawan Kalyan to campaign for the TDP-BJP combine.

Many TDP leaders acknowledge the fact that the party was able to defeat the YSRC during the 2014  polls and form the government because the electoral luck turned its way after Kapus backed the yellow party.

After witnessing the electoral significance of Kapus following TDP’s victory in the general polls, now all political parties have intensified efforts to be in the good books of the Kapus community, even as the ruling TDP plans to consolidate its position among this influential community.

* The Kapu community is primarily concentrated in the coastal Andhra. Their presence is also there in Rayalaseema in the form of Balijas.

 * There are many sub castes within the Kapu community but most of them prefer to be simply called Kapu, Telaga, Balija, Munnuru Kapu, Ontari, Turpu Kapu and Naidu.

* Reservations to Kapu community is not a new phenomenon.

* Under the Montague Chelmsford reforms of 1919, Kapus were recognised as BCs and even BR Ambedkar and Kaka Kalekar Committee recognised them as BCs.

* It continued after the nation attained independence, in the separate Andhra State. However, when Andhra Pradesh state was formed in 1956, Chief Minister N Sanjeeva Reddy quashed the reservation.

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