Flop Sonia rally hits Cong

Flop Sonia rally hits Cong

The indifferent response to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s first ever meeting in Guntur on Friday, a day after BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi had a successful meeting, has dealt a blow to the morale of cadre in Guntur Lok Sabha constituency.

The party had lost tobacco baron and four-time MP from the seat Rayapati Sambasiva Rao to TDP. Rao, a staunch Samaikhyandhra supporter, is fighting this election from Narsaraopet constituency in the same district.

Hoping to corner the sizable muslim vote in the constituency, Congress has fielded a new face, Shaik Abdul Waheed, while the Telugu Desam party has chosen Galla Jayadev, the US-educated managing director of Amararaja Batteries and son of former Congress minister Galla Aruna Kumari, with an eye on the kamma votes.

Congress has won Guntur 12 times since 1952. However, the main battle in Guntur now is between Galla and YSRC candidate V Balashowry, the former Congress MP from Tenali who defeated TDP’s Ummareddy Venkateswarly before the constituency was scrapped.
Balashowry lost to TDP’s Venugopal Reddy in Narsaraopet Lok Sabha seat in 2009. “My victory is sure this time,” Balashowry, while campaigning on the town’s Pattabhipuram area, said.

Galla believes that people would support his development agenda. “I may not be able to speak Telugu fluently but can understand what the youth wants. They want industries that provide them employment,” he said.

Galla, who has now made Guntur his home, banks on the popularity of Modi, Naidu and Pawan Kalyan. 

Guntur Lok Sabha seat has two reserved Assembly segments — Tadikonda and Prathipadu — besides Guntur East, Guntur West, Mangalagiri, Ponnur and Tenali.

Prominent candidates in the area include senior Congress leader Kanna Laxminarayana in Guntur West, former Congress speaker Nadendla Manohar in Tenali and TDP leader Dhuipalla Narendra.

Congress candidates are likely to face the voter’s anger as a result of bifurcation, while the TDP and YSR Congress depend on Christian votes in the two reserved constituencies.

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