KARIMNAGAR: With minister Gangula Kamalakar of the BRS, MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar of the BJP and Purumalla Srinivas of the Congress in the fray, the battle for the Karimnagar seat guarantees to be a closely contested fight.
Despite being one of the biggest cities in the state, Karimnagar faces a number of issues — such as poor road infrastructure and lack of 24x7 drinking water supply — which the voters are likely to consider while going out to vote on November 30.In the 2018 elections, Kamalakar defeated Sanjay by a margin of 14,974 votes.
While the state government claims that the development of the city is going on at a record pace, residents believe that the local authorities are unable to deal with the demands of a growing city. A major eyesore in the city is the ‘garbage hillock’ near the banks of the Manair river.
A local, Mogili Satish, said the residents of Auto Nagar, Housing Board colony, Kapuwada and Maruthi Nagar suffer due to the smoke accumulated waste. He pointed out that though the civic body, Municipal Corporation of Karimnagar (MCK), had spent crores of rupees to process the waste, the smoke from the dumping yard is leading to ailments. “We welcome development, but unscientific growth turns our ‘Smart City’ roads into ponds during the rainy season,” he added.
Ongoing works across the city are causing delays and disruptions, with roads being dug and water supply being disrupted, said Srinivas, a businessman.However, there is still some ambivalence over the choice of the locals. While some express their desire for change citing the state of public infrastructure, others are hesitant to voice their opinions. Analysts said the AIMIM announcing its support for the BRS could mean that the 65,000-odd Muslim votes could play a vital role in deciding the winner while the Munnuru Kapu community is also expected to have influence over the result with its 42,000 votes.
Speaking to TNIE, Kamalakar said, “Think about the development that the city has witnessed over the past decade. The Manair riverfront project will generate employment for 3,000 locals in the coming days, while the roads are being developed.”He pledged to bring more funds for the city’s development.
“During my tenure as MP, Karimnagar has shot up in stature across the country. The Smart City works and railway development is a testament to the development carried out with central funds,” BJP’s Sanjay said, adding that more funds would be available for development once he is elected from the seat.
“Vote for corruption-free BJP to ensure that a ‘double-engine sarkar’ can work for the constituency’s development,” Sanjay said.Srinivas of the Congress said, “People are already aware of the guarantees by the Congress. If they decide to vote for me, they will be able to reap the benefits of such initiatives.”Apart from that, he also vowed to generate employment for the locals.