Congress dissident is BRS candidate, BRS dissident is Congress nominee in Palair

Kandala Upender Reddy notched up an unexpected victory in the 2018 elections on a Congress ticket. He is contesting on a BRS ticket this time and will be facing Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy from the Congress

Congress dissident is BRS candidate, BRS dissident is Congress nominee in Palair

District: Khammam

MLA: Kandala Upender Reddy (Reddy)

Rural Voters: 4%

Reservation: GEN

Total Voters: 2,27,462

Booths: 289

Urban Voters: 13%

Rural Voters: 96%

Male: 49.10%

Female: 50.90%

Caste & Religious Demography:

Gen + BC: 60.50%

SC: 21.10%

ST: 18.40%

Hindu: 95%

Muslim: 4%

Others :1%

Candidates Profile

Kandala Upender Reddy (BRS)

Personal Background: He was born on January 9, 1960 and completed B.SC from Osmania University in 1980. He is married to Vijaya and has two daughters.

Profession: He runs a construction company by name Deepika Infra Limited and owns the Shree Hrishikeshaya Hospital.

Political Background: He didn't have any political experience before contesting as MLA from Palair on a Congress ticket. Even without any political experience, he was able to defeat sitting MLA and Minister Thummala Nageswara Rao, thereby creating a name for himself in Palair. He has a strong financial backing and good cadre. In 2019, he became the sixth MLA to defect to the BRS after the Congress drubbing in the polls.

Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy (Congress)

Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy was born on October 28, 1965, in Narayanapuram Village of Kallur Mandal, Khammam District. He hails from a farming family. He completed his LLB education at CR Reddy College, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh.

Ponguleti deeply admired the late Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and joined the YSRCP in 2013. In 2014, he was appointed as the party’s State president and won as the party’s Lok Sabha candidate from Khammam in the same year. He then shifted to the TRS (now BRS) in 2016. Due to growing dissatisfaction between him and his supporters, he started speaking against the party and was suspended from the BRS in 2023. Later he joined the Congress on July 2 in the presence of Rahul Gandhi and was given the ticket to contest from Palair.

Nunna Ravikumar (BJP)

He was born on May 11, 1974, in Mutapuram Village of Nelakondapalli mandal. In 1986, Ravi joined the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and was appointed as the SFI leader. He joined the BJP in 1998 and was appointed the village president of the party in Mutapuram. In 2011, he became the mandal president. In 2020, he became the district general secretary of the party and is now contesting on a BJP ticket

Constituency information


Palair is a rural constituency made up of Khammam Rural, Kusumanchi, Nelakondapalli and Thirumalayapalem mandals. Agriculture is the main economic activity in this constituency. Large chunk of the tribal population resides in this constituency. Khammam Rural segment plays an important role in the election because 40 per cent of the population resides in this constituency.


Traditionally Palair has been a Congress stronghold. Earlier the election fights used to be between the Congress and the CPI. However, in the last few elections, the CPI lost its grip which ensured that the BRS gained from it. Out of the last eight elections, the Congress won six times and the CPI and the BRS won a term each.

2014 Election Analysis

  • Palair was a Congress bastion for a long time. The incumbent Ramreddy Venkata Reddy was able to overcome anti-incumbency because of his mass leader image and due development of irrigation projects in Nelakondapalli and Khammam Rural mandals. Breakup of alliance between the CPI and the TDP also worked in his favour.
  • Ramreddy Venkata Reddy passed away in 2016 necessitating a by-election. The BRS used this opportunity to gain ground in this constituency.
  • Thummala Nageswara Rao contested on a BRS symbol and won this by-poll by a margin of 55 per cent votes. The Congress fielded Late Ramreddy Venkata Reddy’s wife to cash in on sympathy votes. Thummala Nageswar Rao's image, however, immensely helped the BRS.
  • He was able to transfer the TDP’s vote bank (Andhra settlers and Kammas) to the BRS. The BRS Government’s schemes, construction of new irrigation facilities and Government machinery also helped the ruling party.

2018 Election Analysis

  • Sitting MLA Thummala Nageswara Rao, even with his vast political experience, was unable to win the election. The Congress candidate Kandala Upender Reddy, a political novice, was able to defeat him. The alliance of CPI+INC+TDP worked in favour of the Congress candidate. Thummala Nageswara Rao didn't invest time in building booth level party networks and completely depended on his image.
  • There was also a lot of resentment among the people that he remained inaccessible.
  • The Congress successfully projected that he was a non-local to the constituency.
  • Infighting and lack of coordination among the BRS cadre also worked in favour of the Congress candidate.
  • Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy (the then BRS MP) didn't participate actively in the election campaign which led to a split in votes.
  • Nandigam Raj Kumar, an independent candidate, split votes as his tractor symbol resembled the car symbol of the BRS.
  • Upender secured 46.5 per cent votes.

Key Local Issues

  • Illegal iron ore mining in Narasimhapuram.
  • Lack of Government healthcare facilities in rural areas.
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