KCR rules Gajwel, but Cong remains a threat

The market place that came into being after KCR won in 2014.

Four-way roads, brand new hospital, integrated market building and the TRS Government’s flagship project of two-bedroom houses for poor greet visitors to this rural constituency not very far from Hyderabad.

Ever since Telangana’s first Chief Minister, K Chandrashekar Rao, won from this constituency in 2014, Gajwel has witnessed all-round development with even village roads being upgraded to two-way and four-way lanes and equipped with fancy streetlights.

Though KCR, as he is popularly known as, is set to win this constituency, the margin may not be high as is being expected by the TRS camp, due to a slew of factors – at least four villages are up in arms against Mallannasagar Project that would submerge their hamlet, lack of access to their legislator and the popularity of the Congress nominee V Pratap Reddy.

While the villages that would get submerged due to the Rs 9,800 crore ambitious project may not vote for the TRS, the ruling party suffered a setback when former MLA T Narsa Reddy, who was instrumental in KCR’s victory last time, is back into the Congress fold.

Though KCR had come to Gajwel only for filing nomination, his nephew T Harish Rao, who is in-charge of the constituency, and Medak MP K Prabhakar Reddy are campaigning for the chief minister.

People in the constituency, especially those in and around Gajwel, are happy with a brand-new district hospital being functional from the town instead of district headquarters in Siddipet. And, more than 2,000 families have been given two-bedroom houses in this constituency, making KCR more popular in and around the villages, where these structures are located.

“Gajwel is 15 to 20 years ahead of other towns in the district. The constituency has witnessed all-round development in the past four-and-a-half 4.5 years and we would want to re-elect KCR yet again so that he rules the state for another term,” 28-year-old V Sekar, who has been selling fruits for the past eight years, told DH.

M Ramu, a farmer who owns two acres in Jaligam village, said he would vote for KCR for the second time for bringing the district hospital to Gajwel. “Otherwise, we would have been forced to go to Siddipet, 40 kms away, for any emergency. Since the hospital has all modern facilities, precious lives will be saved,” Ramu, who had come for his daughter-in-law’s delivery, said.

Reddy, who lost to KCR by 19,000 votes in 2014 elections on TDP ticket and now is a Congress nominee, is quite popular in the constituency with many praising him as “humble and good man.”

Outside the Integrated Market, which is yet to be inaugurated, Syed Khalil was open in his support for the Congress nominee. “He is the son of the soil. We see him everyday and I feel he should win. Anyways, I am voting for him,” Khalil said. Interrupting Khalil, his neighbour Bilal said, “Pratap Reddy is like an ambulance. You call him in distress, he is there for you in no time. He resides within the constituency and I feel he should be given a chance. Where do we go and meet KCR? We are not allowed anywhere even in the vicinity of his farm house.”

Since KCR frequents his farm house which is situated inside the constituency, the villages are clean and boast of brand-new roads. In Shivarvenkatapuram village that overlooks KCR’s plush farmhouse, villagers say they are so happy to vote for him since the hamlet received 96 two-bedroom houses and more than 40 of them are employed in the farmhouse.

“See the roads and lights. Our village people have got homes and at least one member in every family has benefited from KCR’s schemes. Not only me, majority of the electorate in our village will vote for KCR,” B Sathish, who owns a kirana store in the village, told DH.

Despite all the euphoria associated with KCR, the Congress has not lost hope as yet. “Last time even when the Telangana wave swept the state, KCR won only by 19,000 votes and with no such wave visible this time, we are confident of winning this time. Pratap Reddy is our MLA,” T Sathyanarayana, a Congress worker, said.

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