Jaipal back in Mahbubnagar, has an edge

Jaipal back in Mahbubnagar, has an edge

After a gap of 18 years, Union Minister for Science and Technology S Jaipal Reddy has returned to his home constituency of Mahbubnagar to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The senior Congress leader, known for shifting constituencies often, has chosen one of the backward and arid regions of the state to fight for his sixth election to Parliament.

Mahbubnagar is also the second largest district in the undivided Andhra Pradesh.

Reddy was elected from Mahbubnagar constituency as Janata Party candidate in 1984. He lost in 1998 elections when contesting as a Janata Dal candidate. After joining the Congress, he won the 1999 and 2004 elections from Mirayalaguda Lok Sabha constituency in Nalgonda district.

He shifted base to Chevella Lok Sabha seat in Ranga Reddy district, on the fringes of Hyderabad city, in 2009 elections, from where he was elected to Parliament.

“In the first place, Miryalaguda was cancelled during delimitation and I was advised by the party to move to Chevella,” Jaipal Reddy said, rejecting the accusation that he was a constituency hopper.

He has to move out of Chevella since it is the home constituency of former Andhra home minister Sabitha Indra Reddy and her son Karthik Reddy, who wanted him out.

Mahbubnagar is witnessing a three-way contest between Jaipal Reddy, former minister and BJP nominee Nagam Janarthan Reddy and former MP Jitender Reddy of the TRS.

Battle for the constituency is fierce since all the three candidates belong to the district and have strong sections of voters for the Telangana cause.

TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao won the seat in 2009 by 20,000 votes, a thin margin considering his Congress rival Devarakonda Vithal Rao polled 3,46,385 votes and almost pulled off a shocker.

Rao barely managed despite the TDP backing under a grand alliance of parties, which saw the Telugu Desam sweep five Assembly segments here while Yennam Srinivas Reddy is the lone BJP MLA.

Shadnagar was the only segment won by Congress candidate C Pratap Reddy in 2009.

“Despite the strong Telangana sentiment prevailing here, Mahbubnagar is different from other constituencies in the region as it is influenced by the neighbouring Karnataka and the Rayalaseema region. While Maktal and Devarakadra have significant Seemandhra population, Kodangal and Narayanpet are influenced by Karnataka,” said Srinivas Reddy.

Jaipal Reddy has a slight edge over the other candidates as he chose DCC president Obaidullah Kotwal for Mahbubnagar Assembly segment, going by the demand from local minority community that a Muslim should be nominated for the seat.

Another Muslim leader Syed Ibrahim recently joined the Congress from the TRS, saying he was disillusioned by the regional outfit’s anti-minority stand. 

While the TRS is hoping to make the most of Telangana and mass exodus from the TDP, including Narayanpet MLA Yella Reddy, party candidate Jitender Reddy is facing the wrath of the voters since KCR never showed up in the constituency after winning here.
The BJP is confident about its prospects here, especially after Nagam Janarthan Reddy joined the party from the TDP.

Thanks to his long stint in the TDP, Nagam has considerable support base in Mahabubnagar, Devarakadra, Jadcherla and Kalvakurthi Assembly segments.

“People are fed up with the Congress and are waiting for Modiraj. The BJP support to Telangana will also help us,” Nagam said.

Nagam is hoping to win the support of five lakh voters in the 18-25 age group, while he is also wary of the 15 per cent Muslim voters out of 14,91,965 voters here.

People in the constituency also want an end to migration of labour to places like Mumbai, Bangalore and to the gulf countries. It is estimated that nearly ten lakh people have left the area in the last decade.

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