Lok Sabha polls 2024 | In Andhra's Pithapuram, its Pawan Kalyan's charisma vs YSRCP MP Geetha's credentials

The segment has approximately 2.35 lakh voters, of which Kapu community electors stand at 82,000, BC-79,000, SC-43,000 and the rest, others.
Last Updated : 08 May 2024, 04:38 IST
Last Updated : 08 May 2024, 04:38 IST

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Visakhapatnam: A sizeable Kapu community voters and anti-incumbency coupled with his personal charisma are what Janasena chief Pawan Klayan hopes to see him through the hustings in the Pithapuram assembly segment, while his opponent, the YSR Congress party’s nominee Vanga Geetha, largely depends on her track record to defeat the actor-politician.

Pithapuram shot into limelight after the segment was allotted to Janasena as part of seat-sharing agreement of NDA and Kalyan, who belongs to the dominant Kapu community of the region, announced his candidature from it.

The move forced the ruling YSRCP to field its sitting Kakinada Lok Sabha member Vanga Geetha, who also belongs to the same forward community, to take him on.

The seat allocation to Janasena did not go down well with the supporters of former TDP legislator from the segment SVSN Varma and they raised a hue and cry.

At one point of time, Varma was forced by his followers to contest as independent. However, TDP supremo N Chandrababu intervened and convinced the disgruntled leader not to take such a step.

Varma later announced his support to Kalyan.

The segment has approximately 2.35 lakh voters, of which Kapu community electors stand at 82,000, BC-79,000, SC-43,000 and the rest, others.

Varma said as part of the seat sharing agreement among NDA partners, he has been working towards ensuring 100 per cent vote transfer to the Janasena leader.

He said he wanted the TDP chief to ensure taking up some of the projects in the constituency in lieu of his 'sacrificing' his seat.

On a general allegation that the accessibility to Kalyan, if elected, will be an issue for common people, Varma said he will be managing in his absence and the Janasena leader will also frequently visit the segment.

"We have already sent messages to one lakh voters so far on the YSRCP government's failures and NDA's agenda. Another 60,000 voters will be touched by Pawan Kalyan in a roadshow on May 10. He had already held a rally covering over 30,000 fishermen in the segment," Varma told PTI.

He said Pawan Kalyan will take up the completion of Purushothapatnam lift irrigation project, if elected, as part of the commitment being given to people.

Replying to a query, Varma said Kalyan will win with the highest margin of votes.

Exuding confidence, he said the NDA expects more than 80 per cent of Kapus to vote in favour of Kalyan.

However, Geetha has a different version to present on Kapus voting en masse.

Dismissing the contention that the image of Pawan Kalyan would help him in the poll race, she said she also held several posts such as MLA and Rajya Sabha member and is close to the masses and enhanced the stature of Pithapuram.

"Yes. There are 80,000 Kapu voters in the constituency. I am confident that all the sections including Kapus will vote for me. If he (Pawan Kalyan) is Kapu, I also am Kapu," she said.

When pointed out that Pawan Kalyan recently rented a house in Pithapuram in a bid to send a message that he would be within public reach, Geetha said taking a house on lease does not necessarily mean that he will stay here.

As part of a seat sharing deal among NDA partner, TDP was allocated 144 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha constituencies while BJP will contest from six Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats.

Janasena will contest two Lok Sabha and 21 Assembly segments.

Pawan Kalyan unsuccessfully contested from Bhimavaram and Gajuwaka in the assembly elections in 2019.

Elections to the 175-member state Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh are scheduled on May 13 and the counting of votes will be done on June 4.

Published 08 May 2024, 04:38 IST

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