BRS aims at maiden victory in Bhadrachalam

The BRS which never won from Bhadrachalam since the formation of Telangana is pulling efforts for maiden victory in the constituency

BRS aims at maiden victory in Bhadrachalam

Assembly Constituency: Bhadrachalam (ST)

District: Bhadradri Kothagudem

MLA: Podem Veeraiah (INC)

Reservation: ST

Total Voters: 1,44,118

Booths: 176

Urban Voters: 15%

Rural Voters: 85%

Male: 51%

Female: 49%

Caste & Religious Demography

  • Gen + OBC: 36.50%
  • SC: 11.80%
  • ST: 51.70%
  • Hindu: 96.90%
  • Muslim: 1.70%
  • Others : 1.4%


Dr Tellam Venkat Rao (BRS)

Tellam Venkat Rao, who was a sympathizer of the YSRCP in the early days, officially resigned from the government service as a doctor in 2014. He contested as an MP candidate for the YSRCP from Mahabubabad Parliament seat and was defeated. Later, he joined the BRS and unsuccessfully contested on the party ticket for Bhadrachalam (ST) Assembly seat in the 2018 elections.

Venkat Rao served as incharge of the BRS affairs in Bhadrachalam constituency. He was a follower of Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy when they both were in the YSRCP. In July, he joined the INC along with Srinivas Reddy in the presence of Rahul Gandhi in Khammam. However, Venkat Rao returned to the BRS in the wake of the news that the INC ticket might go to sitting MLA Podem Veeraiah.

Podem Veeraiah (INC)

Veeraiah began his political career with the INC in 1999. He was elected to the 11th AP Legislative Assembly by a majority of 14,555 votes against the nearest TDP candidate Ajmira Chandulal from Mulugu Legislative Assembly constituency on behalf of the INC. In the Telangana elections held in 2018, Veeraiah contested on behalf of the INC from the Bhadrachalam Legislative Assembly constituency and won by a majority of 11,785 votes against the BRS candidate Tellam Venkata Rao.

Kunja Dharma Rao (BJP)

Kunja Dharma Rao is husband of former MLA Kunja Satyavathi. She won as an MLA on the Congress ticket and served as legislator from 2009 to 2014. Satyavathi passed away due to health issues on October 16. Dharma Rao played an active role in the CPI (M) and worked as Bhadrachalam town secretary. He was also active in the SFI and DYFI. In 2017, Dharma Rao joined the BJP along with his wife. Initially, the BJP decided to field Satyavathi from Bhadrachalam constituency, but she passed due to health issues and Dharma Rao was given a seat by the BJP from the constituency. He inherited the legacy of his wife and has now stepped into her shoes.

Assembly Constituency Information

Geography: It is a rural constituency and part of Mahabubabad Parliament Constituency. Koya tribals form the majority of the population. Wazeed, Venkatapuram, Cherla, Dummugudem, Bhadrachalam Mandals are part of this Assembly constituency. Kunavaram, Chintur, and VR Puram Mandals were given to Andhra Pradesh during the bifurcation of the State. Bhadrachalam Town is an important Hindu pilgrimage town with Sree Seetha Ramachandraswamy Vari Devasthanam - situated on the banks of River Godavari. The constituency shares borders with Andhra Pradesh and people are influenced by the Andhra culture.

Background: The CPI(M) is very strong in this constituency; they were able to win the Assembly elections from 1978 to 2004, lost 2009 elections but again won the 2014 election. The CPI(M) lost its grip on this constituency mainly because of three Mandals- Kunavaram, Chintur, and V.R. Puram merged with Andhra Pradesh where the CPI(M) is very strong.

Earlier the INC and the TDP had a strong cadre, but after the 2018 Assembly elections most of the TDP cadre joined the TRS along with Nama Nageswar Rao.

MLA Profile

Personal Background: Podum Veeraiah was born on January 2, 1966 and completed his MA. He is married to Padma and has two children.

Profession: Farming and Politics

Background: He started his political career with the INC, he contested the 1999 and 2004 Assembly elections from Mulugu on the INC symbol and won. He lost both the 2009 and 2014 Assembly elections. Setakka from the TDP joined the INC to avoid unnecessary fight between Seetakka and Podem Veeraiah, the INC moved Podem Veeraiah to Bhadrachalam Assembly constituency, he contested and won in the 2018 Assembly elections.

Podem Veraiah playing a key role in structuring the INC in the Bhadradri-Kothagudem district. The INC appointed him as DCC president and he was loyal to the party and had fewer corruption allegations during his tenure in Mulugu Assembly constituency and as well as in Bhadrachalam.

He is financially not that strong.

Cultural / Historical / Religious Identifiers

  • Bhadrachalam Rama Temple
  • Godavari River
  • Papikondalu

2014 Assembly Analysis:

In 2014, Sunnam Rajaiah (late) of the CPM won the seat by a margin of 1.09% votes. In 2014 there was a triangle fight between the TDP, the INC, and the CPM. The TDP had a strong cadre from the grass-root level in this Assembly constituency and is majorly supported by Andhra settlers in Bhadrachalam town which resulted in the TDP securing second position. In 2009 MLA Kunja Satyavathi earned a lot of anti-incumbency for huge corruption in the sand mafia.

Except for the party image, there she doesn't have any good image among people which resulted in the INC getting third position. This Assembly constituency is a stronghold for the CPI(M), the party is dominated by the Koya community. The CPI(M) has a strong cadre and renowned leader Sunnam Rajaiah who is known for his simplicity in the constituency, having a good image among masses which resulted in winning the constituency with low margins.

2018 Assembly Analysis

Podem Veeraiah from the INC was able to win the election because of the alliance with the TDP, they were able to consolidate BC and Koya votes. Tellam Venkata Rao joined the TRS from the YSRCP after the 2014 Parliamentary elections.

Current Situation

  • Bhadrachalam town is in Telangana but villages that surround it are in Andhra Pradesh which creates problems for the people in the constituency
  • Rampant sand mining in this constituency with support from MLA.

Key Local Issues

  • Sand mafia is rampant Rs 1,000-crore worth of sand mining is carried out in Godavari basin.
  • Demand for Parnashala bridge
  • Bhadrachalam Town is in Telangana but villages around them are in Andhra Pradesh.
  • No road facilities to tribal hamlets, people need to cross flood prone rivers to reach nearby towns.
  • Temple development authority was not constituted since 2014
Next Story

Similar Posts