TDP’s rookie prepares to take on Botcha’s sibling

When choosing its legislators, the Gajapathinagaram Assembly sector has historically been one of the usual constituencies. This segment’s population has been prioritizing the candidates above the political parties. Thus, TDP has won this seat five times, Congress four times, independent candidates twice, and each of the following parties once: YSRC, Janata Party, Praja Socialist Party, and Swatantra Party.

Following their electoral triumph in 2019, the YSRC has decided to run incumbent MLA Botcha Appalanarasayya against TDP candidate Kondapalli Srinivas in the next elections. Under the Congress and YSRC banners, respectively, Botcha Appalanarasayya, the younger brother of Botcha Satyanarayana, won the Assembly seat in the 2009 and 2019 elections. He is now laying the groundwork to win the seat back in the next elections for a third time.

However, Kondapalli Pyditalli Naidu, a three-time MP and the son of Kondapalli Pyditalli Naidu, unexpectedly passed away, and Kondapalli Appalanaidu was not given the party ticket by the TDP high command. Botcha Appalanarasayya defeated him in the 2019 elections, notwithstanding his victory in the Gajapathinagaram Assembly seat in 2014.

The TDP’s high brass, keen to win a seat in the next elections, has rejected Appalanaidu’s ticket and filed young gun Kondapalli Srinivas, a former businessman turned politician.

Among the agri-based constituencies that include Gajapathinagaram, Bondapalli, Dattirajeru, Gantyada, and Jami mandals is the Gajapathinagaram Assembly seat. Within the constituency, Turpu Kapu and Koppala Velama are the two most prominent communities. On the other hand, the destiny of the MLA candidates has been heavily influenced by the communities of Yadava, SC, and others.

In this constituency, the bulk of people have been dependent on sugarcane and paddy. Andra Reservoir, Thotapalli Branch Canal, Mentada-Nelivada Channel (MN Channel), and Tatipudi Reservoir are therefore the main irrigation projects that provide irrigated water to both sugarcane and paddy.

The Babu Jagjeevan Ram Uttarandhra Sujala Sravanthi project, which can irrigate at least 3.9 lakh acres of land in Vizianagaram and Parvathipuram-Manyam districts via the left canal of Polavaram, was suggested by the Congress administration headed by the late Chief Minister, YS Rajasekhara Reddy. With the initiative, at least 80,000 acres of land in the Gajapathinagaram Assembly segment alone would be put under cultivation. All of these irrigation projects, however, are said to have been ignored by the YSRC administration in power. Despite allocating ~25 crore for the Thotapalli branch canal and `16 crore for the modernization of the Andra reservoir canals, the government did not finish the works.

In contrast, the governing YSRC administration closed down the Bhimasingi Sugar Factory, also known as Sri Vijayarama Gajapathi Cooperative Sugars Ltd, under the pretext of modernization. But the government delayed starting the project because sugarcane was not readily available.

The government’s purported neglect has caused hardship for at least 20,000 farmers over 10 mandals in the districts of Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram.

Another unmet electoral promise made by the incumbent MLA, Botcha Appalanarasayya, is the establishment of a government degree college in Gajapathinagaram. The government succeeded in hiring personnel, but it was unable to finish erecting the structures. Consequently, the college administration has begun holding courses at run-down junior colleges.

Botcha Appalanarasayya stated that, in addition to offering welfare programs to raise the standard of living for the people in the area, he has played a significant role in the construction of at least 10,000 houses. He also made it apparent that the TDP leaders’ claims that he altered the Sujala Sravanthi Project’s alignment in order to secure his land are unfounded. He also pledged to finish all unfinished business as soon as he becomes office.

Kondapalli Srinivas, meantime, attacked the YSRC, claiming that by purposefully closing the Bhimasingi sugar mill for their own benefit, the governing party government had abandoned 20,000 sugarcane growers.

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