Bandi Sanjay finds it tough to beat Gangula Kamalakar in Karimnagar; With three BCs in fray the contest is interesting

Hoping for a consolidation of the Hindu vote in Karimnagar, the BJP fielded its MP Bandi Sanjay as an MLA, but a split in BC vote could prove detrimental to its plan

Bandi Sanjay finds it tough to beat Gangula Kamalakar in Karimnagar; With three BCs in fray the contest is interesting

Assembly Constituency: Karimnagar

District: Karimnagar

MLA: Gangula Kamalakar (Munnuru Kapu)

Total Voters: 3,28,490

Booths: 390

Urban Voters: 80%

Rural Voters: 20%

Male: 52%

Female: 48%

Caste & Religious Demography:

• Gen + BC: 85.7%

• SC: 12.5%

• ST: 1.8%

• Hindu: 80.2%

• Muslim: 17.7%

• Others:2.1%


Gangula Kamalakar (BRS)

He was born on May 8, 1968. He completed his graduation in Civil Engineering. His family owns Swetha Granite, Swetha Hotels, and Swetha TV channels in Karimnagar. His brothers run these businesses on his behalf. He started his political career with the TDP.

Purumalla Srinivas (Congress)

P Srinivas was Bommakkal rural sarpanch. He has 23 years of political experience. He started as a ward member, then upa-sarpanch, sarpanch and become ZPTC. Srinivas who is a BC by caste got the nomination as the party decided to bring in a BC against Bandi Sanjay and Kamalakar. Grandson of M Satyanarayan Rao, Myneni Rohith, Komatireddy Narender Reddy, and Jaipal Reddy tried for the nomination but Srinivas was lucky.

Bandi Sanjay (BJP)

Bandi Sanjay Kumar was born on July 11, 1971, to B. Narsaiah and B. Sakuntala. He completed his secondary schooling at Sri Saraswathi Shishumandir Unnata Pathshala, in Karimnagar, in 1986. He was also active in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He joined the RSS at the age of 12. He is an MP representing the Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency since 2019. He is the former state president of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Telangana from March 11, 2020, to July 4, 2023. He is a board member of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bibinagar, Hyderabad, Telangana. He was named as national general secretary on July 29, 2023, by the BJP national president.

Assembly constituency information:


Karimnagar is an urban constituency and part of Karimnagar Parliament constituency. Karimanagar municipality, Karimnagar rural, and Kothapalli mandalas are part of this constituency.

Political background

  • Earlier, the TDP was very strong in this constituency, but with the emergence of the Telangana movement, it started declining. In the last eight elections, the TDP won four times, the Congress won two times, and the TRS (now BRS) won two times. Current Chief Minister KCR won from Karimnagar parliamentary constituency in 2004.
  • Power shifted from Velama to the BC community with the emergence of Gangula Kamalakar, as he was able to consolidate BC votes.
  • Gangula Kamalakar has won the constituency three times in a row as an MLA. BRS is very strong in Karimnagar.
  • BJP consistently improved its performance and was able to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
  • Karimnagar city has been selected as one of the 100 Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under the Center's Smart Cities Mission.
  • Famous for Granite

MLA Profile:

Political Background

Gagula Kamalakar started his political career with the TDP. He won as a corporator in the 2000 and 2005 municipal elections. Later, he contested as an MLA candidate on the TDP ticket in 2009 and won.

Due to strong Telangana sentiment, he joined the BRS in 2013. He contested as a BRS candidate in the 2014 and 2018 Assembly elections and won.

He was made BC Welfare & Civil Supplies Minister in 2019 in the State Cabinet.

There were allegations against him of supporting the sand mafia in Karimnagar

He is a close associate of KTR.

Profession: Business


1. Karimnagar silver filigree is one of the local silverware handicrafts.

2. ISKCON Metpally

3. Sri Sri Radha Govardhandhari Temple

4. Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple at Vemulawada,

5. Narasimha Temple at Dharmapuri, Jagtial district,

6. Anjaneya Temple at Kondagattu

7. Veerabhadra Temple at Kothakonda Jatara

2014 Assembly analysis:

• Major political parties came up with the BC and Velama caste formula. MLA candidates of the BRS and the BJP belonged to the major BC caste of Munnuru Kapu and the Congress candidate belonged to Velama caste. The BRS and the BJP fielded Velamas. The Congress candidate belonged to the Gouda community. Gangula Kamlakar was able to win the election because of strong support from the Velama and Munnuru Kapu communities.

• Bandi Sanjay's experience as a corporator in Karimnagar city, a major chunk of BC votes supported the BJP. As a Muslim-dominated constituency and Bandi Sanjay‘s image of a Hindutva leader, first-time Hindu voters cast their vote towards BJP in this election.

2018 Assembly analysis:

• Strong consolidation of the Madiga vote due to the State Government’s promises, defection of second-rung cadre of the Congress and the TDP into the BRS, Muslim votes consolidation, internal understanding with the AIMIM, strong inclination of Velama community, public opposition on the Congress-TDP alliance, and Gangula’s personal image helped the BRS to retain this seat in this elections.

• Slight consolidation of Hindu voters towards the BJP due to the BRS towards appeasement politics towards the Muslim community, regular communal issues like love jihad, Munnuru Kapu vote split between the BRS and the BJP due to Bandi Sanjay, helped the BJP to gain second place by a considerable margin.

Current situation:

• Even though facing anti-incumbency and corruption allegations, incumbent MLA Gangula Kamalakar has strong cadre support and financial strength in the constituency. Congress leader Ponnam Prabhakar is contesting for the Assembly from elsewhere. Apart from Bandi Sanjay, the lack of a strong BJP MLA in this constituency could prove advantageous to Gangula Kamalakar.

• Even though the BJP has a strong face like Bandi Sanjay this time, the party is still poor at countering the incumbent MLA and the BRS party in the constituency.

Key local issues:

  • Frequent power cuts
  • Municipal Corporation of Karimanagar which had earlier operated a library and hospital remain closed.
  • Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP) flood flow canal
  • Illegal sand mining on the Godavari and Manair River banks
  • Land grabbing
  • In the town of 44 municipal parks, only six are functioning with facilities, and the remaining are either defunct or encroached by land sharks.
  • The condition of the main roads in the town is very bad,
  • Underground drainage work started in 2007 is still incomplete.
  • No hospital or library maintained by the Karimnagar municipal corporation
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