The two main leaders in Telangana, K. Chandrashekhar Rao and Revanth Reddy from the two major parties Bharat Rashtra Samithi and Congress respectively, are set to lock horns on the Assembly seat of Kamareddy. The constituency is the second seat for both the leaders and fielding its top candidates (by Congress and BRS) there is seen as a strategic move by both the parties.
The party leaders privy to the functioning of BRS chief say that the reasons he may have had in contesting from two seats for the first time may be to add that extra layer of motivation within its rank and file by taking the challenge head-on against the Congress.
Moreover, the party leaders indicate that the decision to show formal presence on two seats would have been taken only after the relevant reports from several surveys. There could be two reasons, a party leader said, one is to mobilize the electorate and galvanize the cadre in the region. Another could be that the prime candidate is anticipating a defeat from his first (Gajwel) constituency which seems unlikely. KCR is seen to be strong on his first seat due to his developmental works there. And it would be difficult for the rival candidates to dislodge him from the seat.
Kamareddy district (which has four Assembly seats) is one among strong areas of Congress where the party is expected to do well. Shabbir Ali had been given positive hints about his electoral prospects from the seat.
However, after Rao announced his candidature there, the Congress’ top leadership had made assessments in order to give the incumbent chief minister a strong fight, thereby closing in on the candidature of Revanth Reddy. Also, the noteworthy aspect of the contest between the two is that the Congress has a strong base in Kamareddy constituency. Another political analyst said, “When a CM candidate contests from any constituency, people see it in a different way than a candidate who is a non-CM contestant. They believe that if the CM candidate is from their constituency, the developmental processes will expedite and the ease of living will increase. So there is a change in the mindset of voters which impacts the voting behavior.”
A political analyst said, “The same strategy was adopted by Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal. She contested from the second seat Nandigram Assembly constituency in Purba Medinipur district in West Bengal, from where Suvendu Adhikari was fielded by the BJP. Though she lost it with a thin margin (less than 2,000 votes), it created an impact on the adjacent seats where the TMC did well.”
Changing the constituencies is not a new practice for KCR. He won the Assembly elections from Siddipet constituency for five consecutive terms from 1985 to 2004. Moreover, after winning the Medak Lok Sabha seat in 2004, he quit the Siddipet Assembly seat for his nephew T. Harish Rao. In 2006, he quit the Medak LS seat and contested from Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat and won it. This is, however, for the first time that he has decided to contest from two Assembly constituencies–Gajwel in Siddipet district which he is presently representing, and Kamareddy in the district of the same name (Kamareddy).