Nandyal By-Poll – A Big War On The Cards
Amaravati: The Nandyal by-election to be held sometime later has all the potential to be the biggest war fought in any election in the recent years. The by-election is necessary as sitting legislator Bhuma Nagi Reddy died recently. Nagi Reddy, who was elected on the YSR Congress ticket had defected to the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) along with his daughter Akhila Priya in his last days. Akhila Priya is now a Minister in the TDP Cabinet in the State and hence the TDP claims the seat, while the YSR Congress, which had won it in 2014 stakes its claim of ownership. Given this situation, it is not going to be a unanimous election as being followed in the State politics in case of death of a sitting MLA. Added to this, the TDP is planning to field an outsider from the Bhuma Nagi Reddy family, which would give scope for the Opposition parties to field their candidates. The parties have been leaving the seat only in a case where the family member of the sitting MLA is in the race.
As the controversy over defection of 21 MLAs from the YSR Congress to the ruling TDP and the subsequent elevation of four legislators as Cabinet Ministers gaining momentum, the election has the potential to display the Rayalaseema nature of a battle. It would be mostly between the loyalists of the Bhuma family on the TDP ticket and the Gangula family on the YSR Congress ticket. The two families have strong base in the Rayalaseema region, particularly in Kurnool district. While the TDP is set to go for the polls using its strength and advantages of being in power, the Opposition YSR Congress is flexing its muscles to prove that defections are unconstitutional and their mass base is intact in the region.
The YSR Congress is also riding on the success of the MLC elections held for the Teachers and Graduates constituencies in the region recently where the party candidate and its supported candidates winning all the four seats. The ruling TDP candidates have lost in all the four constituencies spread over the four districts of Rayalaseema and Nellore and Prakasam districts outside. In 2014 elections, out of 14 Assembly seats in Kurnool district, the YSR Congress had won leaving just three seats to the ruling TDP. The TDP had won Banaganapalle, Pattikonda and Yemmiganur constituencies. However, it could engineer defections and now enjoys the support of MLAs from Allagadda, Srisailam, Kurnool, Kodumur and Nandyal. The TDP is now confident of winning the Nandyal seat with the support of these legislators, particularly the families of Bhuma and Silpa family.