The arrest of Jagan has dimmed the hopes of TDP recapturing the Narasannapet constituency where two brothers are slugging it out
Will the TDP end its 12 years of vote drought in Narasannapet assembly seat is the question. For answers one has to wait till June 12. But it is going to be one of the most keenly fought by-elections where brothers have taken positions in opposite camps and fight like Karna and Arjuna while the TDP watches with a carry-bag gloating over the spoils coming out of the fraternal fight.
The Narasannapet Assembly seat fell vacant after Dharmana Krishnadas (Congress) was disqualified after he defied the party whip and voted against the government in the last no-confidence motion sponsored by the Telugu Desam party.
The TDP lost the seat to Congress in 1999 and has since been out of the ring. In the last two elections, Dharmana Krishnadas had won the seat for the Hand. Incidentally, Krishnadas is the brother of roads and buildings minister Dharmana Prasada Rao.
Finding himself in a tight spot, Prasad Rao did the only thing viable: he fielded his one brother against the other. “Let them prove their mettle,” he told people after throwing them into the arena. Now, Dharmana Krishnadas sees eyeball-to-eyeball with his brother Dharmana Ramdas, and there is no prize for guessing who gets the backing of the minister.
The two brothers are running round and round in sparring motion and the TDP candidate Simma Swamybabu eyeing for spoils provides the much needed comic relief to the people distressed by the punishing May sun. Swamy is a greenhorn but he claims he has attained enough political experience participating in panchayat elections. His main asset is that his uncle Simma Jagannadham, a prominent leader of Swatantra Party in the region, had been a revered figure.
It was the Big J who banished the Congress and brought in the Telugu Gaurav (TDP) in 1994. But the TDP could not retain the seat in subsequent polls. Currently, Swamy has completed one round of visiting people in their homes, which he knows makes a difference. There are 400 odd villages under 139 panchayats in four mandals of Saravakota, Narasannapeta, Polaki and Jalumuru.
People in the town say the Congress retained the seat because of the late YSR’s varied welfare schemes. YSR Congress Party observer GV Ravi Raju says the rural people believe that they have lost a champion in the untimely death of YSR and therefore the sympathy belongs to the YSRC. This has bolstered after the arrest and arraignment of Jagan Mohan Reddy in Hyderabad. But the TDP hopes to snatch a victory in the fraternal fight. But, again, the trouble is Queen Bee is coming. Jagan’s mother Vijayamma starts her campaign in Narasannapet today in the same vehicle her late husband used in the 2009 elections when he bulldozed the whole Opposition.
About the Author (Author Profile)
PK Surendran is senior editor at Postnoon.