Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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2024 elections: Noted oncologist to take on a businessman-turned-politician in Machilipatnam Lok Sabha constituency

YSRCP candidate for Machilipatnam Lok Sabha constituency Dr. Simhadri Chandrasekhar Rao

YSRCP candidate for Machilipatnam Lok Sabha constituency Dr. Simhadri Chandrasekhar Rao
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Jana Sena Party candidate for Machilipatnam Lok Sabha constituency Vallabbhaneni Balashowry.

Jana Sena Party candidate for Machilipatnam Lok Sabha constituency Vallabbhaneni Balashowry.
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

The battle for the Machilipatnam Lok Sabha (LS) seat is going to be between the businessman-turned-politician Vallabhaneni Balashowry of the Jana Sena Party (JSP) and the YSR Congress Party’s (YSRCP) Simhadri Chandrasekhara Rao, an accomplished surgical oncologist based in Hyderabad. 

Once a stronghold of the Congress, the constituency has been dominated by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) since the 1984 general elections. Of the nine elections held since then, the TDP won five times and the Congress thrice. The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) won the election held in 2019. 

The TDP’s Konakalla Narayana Rao won the elections in 2009 and 2014. Kavuri Sambasiva Rao of the Congress accomplished a similar feat in 1984 and 1989. Penamaluru MLA Kolusu Parthasarathy’s father K.P. Reddaiah won the election on TDP ticket in 1991, actor Kaikala Satyanarayana (TDP) in 1996, Ambati Brahmanaiah (TDP) in 1999, and Badiga Ramakrishna (Congress) in 2004. 

However, the YSRCP swept all seven Assembly segments— Avanigadda, Gannavaram, Gudivada, Machilipatnam, Pamarru, Pedana and Penamaluru—in 2019. 

Among the candidates in the fray for the forthcoming election is Dr. Chandrasekhar Rao, son of TDP former Minister Simhadri Satyanarayana Rao, a lawyer-turned-politician, who defeated Congress stalwart Mandali Venkata Krishna Rao in Avanigadda Assembly constituency in 1989. 

Hailing from Guntur district, Mr. Balashowry represented Tenali Lok Sabha constituency till 2008 when it was brought under the purview of Guntur Lok Sabha constituency during the delimitation exercise.

Mr. Balashowry won as Machilipatnam MP in 2019 on the YSRCP ticket, defeating his nearest rival Konakalla Narayana Rao by a margin of 60,000 votes. He joined the Jana Sena Party (JSP) in February this year. This is the third Lok Sabha election for him as a candidate while it is Dr. Chandrasekhar Rao’s first attempt to enter the Parliament. 

Coming to the issues at stake, the Machilipatnam port project has been a major one which the political parties harp on during every election. This time too it is likely to be a significant issue as it has been pending for decades. However, some progress in the port construction work during the YSRCP’s tenure might be helpful to it in garnering votes. 

Caste equation

Then comes the caste factor. The Backward Classes (BCs) constitute more than half of the population in the constituency and they are going to play the decisive role. Both the YSRCP and the TDP-BJP-Jana Sena Party alliance are sparing no effort to appease them.

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