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SECUNDERABAD

The prestigious Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency will witness an interesting electoral battle from where Union Minister for Urban Development Bandaru Dattatreya is contesting.
PTI | By Press Trust of India
PUBLISHED ON APR 16, 2004 04:40 PM IST

The prestigious Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency, one of the two parliamentary seats in the state capital, will witness an interesting electoral battle from where Union Minister for Urban Development Bandaru Dattatreya is contesting.

Dattatreya, known as a mass leader in the city, particularly in Secunderabad, is facing Congress nominee Anjan Kumar Yadav, who is city Congress committee president.

Though BJP senior leader Dattatreya attaches little importance to his opponent stating that the Congress candidate does not have any stature, Yadav, who is a first-timer, is leaving no stone unturned and campaigning intensively in his own style by various means.

In the wake of poll alliance with ruling TDP, which is an ally of NDA government, Dattatreya, while trying to make a hat-trick, is confident of his victory. But new alliance between Congress and TRS has made his fight tough.

The election campaign jointly by alliance parties is seen with interest by voters.

While Dattatreya's poll plank is development and able leadership of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee besides local issues like drinking water, Congress' Yadav asks the voters to give him a chance to serve them.

Shaking hands with voters, seeking their blessing with folded hands and reminding them of the work he did for them as Union Minister for the last six years, is the style of Dattatreya's campaign.

He reminds people that he was instrumental in forging close cooperation of the state government for launching of most prestigious dream project Multi Model Transport System (MMTS). Besides, he says: "I have released Rs 350 crores loan for another prestigious Krishna Water project which is becoming a reality in this month to meet the drinking water needs of the citizens."

The personal image of Dattatreya, who is called "Dattanna" by his supporters, is also likely to give him dividend at the hustings.

Yadav, along with scores of Congress and TRS supporters, rides buffallo or rickshaw and go round on door-to-door campaign urging voters to support him for more development of the constituency besides addressing their grievances.

Till 1989, Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat was a Congress bastion, but Dattatreya, a known BJP leader, sprang a surprise by winning the seat first time in 1991.

Except in 1996 elections, Dattatreya, who was defeated by P V Rajeshwar, son of former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, never looked back and represented this constituency in 1998 and 1999.

Of the seven assembly segments of Secunderabad constituency, two are held by BJP and four by TDP and one is retained by D Nagender, who has now switched over to TDP after not getting Congress ticket.

The retaining of assembly seats by BJP and its ally TDP candidates would be another plus point for Dattatreya's victory.

Polling for Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat would be held in the first phase of election on April 20, which has a total of 18,22,492 electorates, including 8,80,512 women voters.

There are 13 candidates in the fray, but the main fight would be between BJP and Congress.

Probably Dattatreya is the only BJP candidate in the state for whom party's several top leaders including Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, party president M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Ministers Shatrughan Sinha and Sushwa Swaraj campaigned.

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