Malkajgiri is one of India’s largest Lok Sabha constituencies with 29.5 lakh voters. The size has perhaps made it ambiguous about the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and Seemandhra.
Malkajgiri is one of four LS seats overlapping the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. While the Muslim-dominated Hyderabad seat is largely disconnected from the bifurcation issue, the largely rural Chevella seat has a pro-Telangana sentiment. So does the Secunderabad seat to a lesser extent.
But with a sizeable population of Seemandhra people, Malkagjiri has become unpredictable. Even the Telanganites here — from real estate developers to auto drivers — are not keen on separation from Seemandhra as “it would affect our business”.
Formed after the 2008 delimitation, Malkajgiri has seven assembly segments (going to polls simultaneously) and is one of the 17 LS seats of Telangana. Seemandhra people match the number of their Telangana counterparts across these assembly segments.
Both communities now want to live peacefully, which they think can rescue Hyderabad-Secunderabad from the decline caused by years of agitation for a separate state. Though the parties are raking up the bifurcation issue in Seemandhra and claiming the credit for statehood in Telangana, the 30 contestants in Malkajgiri are focussing on development.
“Bifurcation is not an issue here. What people want are better amenities and a capable leader,” says K Nageshwar, a professor of Osmania University contesting as an independent. He has been a member of legislative council since 2007.
Former IAS officer and Lok Satta Party chief Jayaprakash Narayan, a sitting MLA from Kukatpally under Malkajgiri, is also contesting the seat. “I have ensured development worth Rs. 1,550 crore and can do more if sent to Parliament,” he says.
The pro-Telangana TRS too has played down the statehood issue in Malkajgiri.