KCR is still the boss in Gajwel

KCR is still the boss in Gajwel

Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao, the caretaker chief minister of Telangana, is confident of retaining his seat in Gajwel

Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao, the caretaker chief minister of Telangana, is so confident of retaining his seat in Gajwel that he has deputed his nephew and Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao to campaign for him.

KCR is sure that he will defeat Congress' formidable candidate Vonteru Pratap Reddy for a second time, with a margin of 1 lakh votes.

Vonteru, on a TDP ticket, had lost the 2014 elections to KCR with a margin of over 20,000 seats.

The Gajwel Assembly segment consists of five blocks — Toopran, Kondapur, Wargal, Mulugu and Jagdevpur — and has been a Congress stronghold for long.

So far, the TDP has won the Gajwel seat three times and the TRS one time.

While KCR's confidence comes from the programmes that he has launched for the development of the constituency, the Grand Alliance of the Congress, TDP, CPI and TJS believes that Vonteru's clean image coupled with sympathy for losing the 2014 elections against KCR will tilt the fate in their favour.

"Vonteru is affectionate. He visits all functions and donates liberally. Moreover, he is the son of the soil of Burugupalli," Rudraram Pentaiah, a villager from Singaram said.

He, however, said he will be voting for KCR as he does a lot of work for Gajwel, even though they never get to see him.

KCR comes often to his farm house in his adopted village of Erravalli, but Rudraram and the other farmers never get to see him.

"KCR sir comes here often and spends time planning for elections, but there is so much security that we never get to enter the farm house," a villager from Sivar Venkatapur said.

Bhushayya, a villager from Komati Banda, from where KCR launched Mission Bhagiratha project along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the chief minister has done a lot for the constituency.

"Now there is tap water in our village thanks to mission Bhagiratha, a very good hospital was built in Gajwel even though Siddipet is our district headquarters, two-bedroom houses were built and the old-age pensions were more than doubled," he said.

While KCR's mark is visible in Gajwel town with wide roads, greenery and ultramodern integrated market yards that give an impression of development, a small-time merchant who lost his house to the widening of roads and a shop demolished for the market yard was not happy.

"We were not paid compensation by the municipality. It seems that the chief minister has given a free hand to the corrupt chairman," Mahinder Reddy said.

"We all like KCR but he failed to develop a strong local leadership that is not corrput. The local TRS leaders are very corrupt," Reddy said. However, like many others he will still vote for the man who got them Telangana.