YSR Congress looks set to bag Badvel seat in Andhra Pradesh by-election

The by-election to Badvel in Kadapa district is necessitated due to the sudden death of sitting YSRCP MLA Dr Gunthoti Venkata Subbaiah in March this year due to illness.
Badvel seat is in Kadapa district, which has been the bastion of YSRCP led by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy (ANI)
Badvel seat is in Kadapa district, which has been the bastion of YSRCP led by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy (ANI)
Published on Oct 30, 2021 12:51 AM IST
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Hyderabad It’s advantage for ruling YSR Congress party in the by-election to Badvel assembly constituency in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district, with main opposition Telugu Desam Party opting out of the contest and two other contenders – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress not having enough strength to fight the battle.

The by-election to Badvel is necessitated due to the sudden death of sitting YSRCP MLA Dr Gunthoti Venkata Subbaiah in March this year due to illness.

The YSRCP has fielded Subbaiah’s widow Dasari Sudha, a practising doctor, to cash in on the sympathy factor. Moreover, Kadapa has been the bastion of YSRCP led by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and in the last elections, the party swept all the 10 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha seats in the district.

Badvel, too, has been the stronghold of YSRCP, which has been representing this constituency for the last two terms. Naturally, it has the advantage over others in winning the by-poll to be held on October 30.

Interestingly, the TDP, which initially announced the candidature of Obulapuram Rajasekhar who unsuccessfully contested the last assembly elections, for Badvel, but opted out of the contest after YSRCP announced the candidature of deceased MLA’s widow.

“As per the tradition established by the TDP itself, we don’t want to contest the by-elections, if the spouse of a sitting MLA is fielded by the rival party,” TDP state president K Atchannaidu said.

Jana Sena Party established by popular Tollywood actor Pawan Kalyan declared that it would fight the by-polls with the help of its alliance partner BJP, but it also dropped out from the contest on the grounds that it would follow the convention of not fielding candidate against the spouse of the deceased MLA.

BJP, however, sprang a surprise on its alliance partner by jumping into the fray and fielding Panthala Suresh, who unsuccessfully contested the 2019 election from Railway Koduru constituency. Similarly, the Congress also fielded former MLA P M Kamalamma, who represented Badvel from 2009 to 2014.

However, both the BJP and the Congress have not been strong enough to fight against the YSRCP. The Congress has lost its ground in the state completely post bifurcation of the combined Andhra Pradesh and has been drawing blank both in the assembly as well as Lok Sabha elections since 2014. Most of its leaders and cadre have already defected to the YSRC.

Similarly, the BJP has little base in Andhra Pradesh, though it won a few seats earlier due to the alliance with the TDP in the past. Yet, it wants to put up the fight in Badvel as part of its long-term plan to grow as a political alternative to the YSRCP.

Several BJP leaders including state party president Somu Veerraju, BJP national general secretary Daggubati Purandeshwari, BJP national in-charge of AP Sunil Deodhar, MPs C M Ramesh and G V L Narasimha Rao and BJP state secretary Satya Kumar have been campaigning for their candidate in Badvel for the last few days.

Though Jana Sena has been the alliance partner of the BJP, it has stayed away from the campaign as a matter of principle. That is also a negative factor for the BJP. “But the Jana Sena Party cadres will vote for the BJP. Even the TDP cadres are expected to vote for the BJP candidate, as they definitely won’t vote for YSRCP candidate,” a state BJP leader said.

As the YSRC is sitting pretty in the Badvel constituency, it is not sweating it out much in the campaign. Party president and chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy stayed away from campaign but wrote open letters to all the voters asking them to give a huge majority to YSRCP candidate in the by-election.


    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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