HYDERABAD: The TRS’ efforts to dent TDP’s Seemandhra vote-bank in the city seem to have succeeded with votes in Andhra-dominated areas getting divided between the TDP and the TRS in the GHMC election held on Tuesday.
Seemandhras form a sizeable part of population in 50 to 55 divisions in Greater Hyderabad and they play a pivotal role in deciding the winner in these areas.
Kukatpally, SR Nagar, Vengalraonagar, Vivekanandangar, Balajinagar, Madhapur, Miyapur, Serilingamaplly, AS Rao Nagar, Vanasthalipuram are among the areas dominated by Seemandhras.
Going by the voting pattern in these areas, the ‘ruling party’ tag seems to have helped the TRS in weaning away a chunk of Andhra voters to its fold from TDP.
“We migrated to Hyderabad from East Godavari district and have been living here for the past 30 years. My children are citizens of Hyderabad. Though there was fear among settlers for a brief period after bifurcation, it later turned out to be unfounded. Now everyone is living happily.
Moreover, only state ruling party can solve local problems and therefore we have voted for TRS,” said K Nageswara Rao, a resident of Vengalraonagar division, after voting at Madhuranagar polling station.
Vengalraonagar division is part of Jubilee Hills Assembly constituency which is represented by MLA Maganti Gopinath, who is also the president of Greater Hyderabad TDP unit.
With TRS leaving no stone unturned to woo Andhra voters, TDP and BJP have tried hard to retain their vote base, especially in areas dominated by Andhra people.
TDP leaders and MLAs Revanth Reddy, KP Vivekanand and Maganti Gopinath visited polling stations and personally monitored polling in Jubilee Hills, Kukatpally, Quthbullapur, Allwyn Colony and some others.
Wherever there was low polling percentage in Andhra-dominated areas, TDP senior leaders made efforts to mobilise voters to polling booths.
“We feel that TDP-BJP will have edge in areas where there is higher voting percentage, as it is mostly educated and middle-class people vote for us. But due to mistakes in voters list many votes have been removed or misplaced. A person who was earlier a voter in one area was now shown as a voter in another area. As a result, many voters have faced problems. This was purposely done to harm the prospects of TDP-BJP,” said Gopinath after visiting a polling station at Madhuranagar.
Defection of Kukatpally MLA Madhavaram Krishna Rao and Sanathnagar MLA Talasani Srinivas from TDP to TRS may also have some effect on the poll outcome, though still most of TDP supporters in these areas prefer TDP to TRS.
“Leaders have shifted parties for their personal reasons. People still prefer TDP in this area. But wherever TRS has given ticket to Andhra people or due to candidates rapport with local people some might prefer TRS,” explained Prabhakar Rao, a resident of Kukatpally Housing Board Colony.
Besides the Andhra-Telangana factor, caste factor has also played a role in these areas. While Kammas have supported the TDP outright, votes of people belonging to other castes were divided.
Also, confusion prevailed in most of the wards dominated by Andhra people as the names of many voters were missing from the rolls or misplaced. Many voters who went to polling booths returned without voting as they did not find their names in the voters list.
With GHMC being the last fort to guard for TDP, the party’s leaders and cadres have tried hard to retain their strength by winning in areas dominated by Andhra voters. Though most of the Andhra people still preferred TDP, ‘ruling party’ tag seems to have helped TRS in dividing Andhra voters.
Seemandhra vote to be crucial in 50 to 55 divisions
Andhras seem to have been divided between TDP and TRS
Besides Andhra-Telangana factor, caste also played a role in influencing voters
Many voters could not vote as rolls did not have their names