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Three-time winner KT Rama Rao faces an uphill electoral challenge

The 42-year-old IT and industries minister KT Rama Rao won his first election in 2009 on a wafer thin majority of 171 votes over KK Mahender Reddy, a former TRS politician who fought as an Independent.

Telangana elections 2018 Updated: Nov 17, 2018 00:07 IST
Srinivasa Rao Aaparasu
Srinivasa Rao Aaparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
KT Rama Rao,Telangana Election 2018,Telangana Polls 2018
KT Rama Rao (HT File Photo)

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K Chandrashekhar Rao’s son KT Rama Rao may be the scion of the Kalvakuntla family, but in the upcoming assembly elections, he must, like any other candidate, work hard to keep his seat from Sircilla constituency.

The 42-year-old IT and industries minister won his first election in 2009 on a wafer thin majority of 171 votes over KK Mahender Reddy, a former TRS politician who fought as an Independent.

KTR vacated the seat when the Telangana movement was at its peak, but won the by-elections held the following year with a much larger margin over the same rival. In 2014, he retained his seat.

KTR’s clout extends to the urban areas of Siricilla, where 70 per cent of the 1.84 lakh voters are powerloom weavers from the Padmashali community, an OBC group.

The town is known for a spate of weaver suicides up until a few years ago. KTR has got a textile park sanctioned for Siricilla to provide employment and skill training for weavers. Wide roads, street lighting and government hospital have come up in his constituency in the past few years.

In the rural areas of Siricilla however, all is not well. Residents have complained about rampant illegal sand mining. There were several accidents involving trucks transporting sand illegally from Mid Manair reservoir.

The violence following the death of a villager in an accident at Nerella on July 2 last year changed the political landscape.

Dalits and OBCs, who were subjected to police torture for opposing the sand transporters, are now opposing the TRS government. “Even during the peak election season, KTR has not visited the villages so far,” K Narsaiah, a Dalit from Nerella, said.

First Published: Nov 16, 2018 23:30 IST