Constituency Watch: Nizamabad LS seat in Telangana set for three-cornered contest


by IANS | Wed, May 08, 2024, 11:38 AM

Hyderabad, May 8 (IANS) A triangular fight is on the cards in the Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency, a key constituency in the politically significant north Telangana region.

The main contestants are battling it out after suffering defeat in Assembly elections.

Sitting MP Dharampuri Arvind of BJP, senior Congress leader and former minister T. Jeevan Reddy and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) candidate Bajireddy Goverdhan all had to taste defeat in Assembly elections held in November 2023.

Unlike in 2019 when Arvind had defeated BRS president and then chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter K. Kavitha in a direct fight, the constituency is witnessing a three-cornered contest this time.

Out of seven Assembly seats under Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency, BRS won three seats in the recent polls.

Congress and BJP bagged two seats each.

The BRS retained Koratla as Arvind lost to Kalvakuntla Sanjay by a margin of over 10,000 votes.

The Congress and BRS candidates too were unsuccessful in their bid to enter the Assembly.

Jeevan Reddy, a former minister and currently a member of Telangana Legislative Council, lost to M. Sanjay Kumar of BRS by a margin of 15,822 votes.

BRS leader Bajireddy Goverdhan suffered defeat at the hands of Congress party's R. Bhupathi Reddy by a margin of nearly 22,000 votes in Nizamabad Rural constituency.

Nizamabad is the second Lok Sabha constituency after Adilabad where the BJP put up impressive performance in recent Assembly elections.

The BJP wrested Armoor and Nizamabad Urban seats from the BRS and finished second in the Koratla segment.

Nizamabad Lok Sabha seat remained a Congress stronghold till 1991 when Telugu Desam Party (TDP) wrested it for the first time.

The TDP won the seat again in 1998 and 1999.

TRS (now BRS) scored its first victory from here in 2014 when Kavitha defeated two-time MP Madhu Yaskhi Goud of Congress by a huge margin of 1.67 lakh votes. BJP had finished third with over 2.25 lakh votes.

In 2019, the BJP wrested the seat with Arvind, son of former Congress and BRS leader D. Srinivas, defeating Kavitha by a margin of 70,875 votes.

While both Arvind and Kavitha polled over 4 lakh votes each, Congress candidate finished a poor third with less than 70,000 votes.

The constituency had hit headlines in 2019 after 177 farmers jumped into the fray demanding remunerative price for turmeric and red sorghum and setting up of National Turmeric Board, taking the total number of candidates to 185.

Though Kavitha was later elected to the Legislative Council from Nizamabad Local Authorities' constituency, she kept targeting Arvind through innovative protests for failing to fulfil his promise of getting Turmeric Board.

While addressing a public meeting in Mahabubnagar on October 1, 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the National Turmeric Board will be set up in Telangana to professionally focus on the entire value chain of turmeric.

However, the Turmeric Board remains a key issue in this election too as both Congress and BRS are questioning the delay in follow-up action on the Prime Minister's announcement.

Both the parties alleged that the BJP has taken people of Nizamabad for a ride with a mere announcement. Revival of Nizam Sugar Factory (NSF) in Nizamabad and its units across Telangana is another issue in the election.

The Congress has given the assurance it will revive NSF next year.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah's election rally in Nizamabad where he promised that the BJP will scrap reservation for Muslims gave further boost to the BJP's campaign.

Issues like Muslim reservation and celebration of Hyderabad Liberation Day are part of BJP's poll campaign.

The party is also highlighting the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya and its promise to bring Uniform Civil Code.

Muslims constitute about 20 per cent of nearly 19 lakh voters in the constituency.

Nizamabad was one of the four Lok Sabha seats won by the BJP in 2019.

This was the BJP's best-ever performance in the state.

As Kavitha was arrested in Delhi excise policy case, the BRS fielded its senior leader Bajireddy Goverdhan.

He was first elected to the Assembly on a Congress ticket from Armoor in 1999. In 2004, he was elected from Banswada. He joined YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) after it was floated by Jagan Mohan Reddy in 2010. Goverdhan joined TRS (now BRS) in 2014 and was elected to Telangana Assembly from Nizamabad Rural constituency. He retained the seat in 2018.

The BRS is telling the electorate that it alone can safeguard the interests of Telangana.

BRS chief KCR is exhorting people to make sure that Telangana's voice is heard in Parliament.

Congress' Jeevan Reddy is confident that like in the Assembly elections, the people will give their mandate in favour of Congress.

The senior leader is accusing BJP of diverting the people's attention from real issues like unemployment, Turmeric Board, remunerative prices for farmers, revival of sugar factories and problems of beedi workers and Gulf migrants to polarise votes on communal lines.

Jeevan Reddy was first elected to Andhra Pradesh Assembly in 1983 on Telugu Desam Party (TDP ticket) from Jagtial and served as excise minister in N.T. Rama Rao's Cabinet.

He joined the Congress in 1984 and was re-elected to the Assembly from Jagtial in 1989.

He was again elected from the same constituency in 1989, 1996, 1999 and 2004.

He served as minister for roads and buildings in Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's cabinet between 2007 and 2009.

He was elected to Telangana Assembly from Jagtial in 2014.

After defeat in 2018 elections, he entered the fray for Legislative Council elections and was elected from Karimnagar Graduates' constituency in 2019.

Jeevan Reddy is contesting Lok Sabha elections for the third time.

He twice contested unsuccessfully from Karimnagar. Both times, he lost to BRS chief and former chief minister KCR.

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