In Yellandu, Lambada community key to decide fate of BRS, Congress candidates
Allegations of land grabbing on sitting MLA Haripriya Banoth, even from her own party cadre and the Congress is trying to capitalise it for its victory
Assembly Constituency-Yellandu (ST)
District: Bhadradri Kothagudem
MLA: Haripriya Banoth
Total Voters: 2,11,526
Urban Voters: 13%
Rural Voters: 87%
Caste & Religious Demography
- Gen + BC: 40.20%
- SC: 10.10%
- ST: 49.80%
- Hindu: 94%
Banoth Haripriya Naik (BRS)
Haripriya was born on May 1, 1985 in Kothagudem in Telangana to Seetharam and Darjan. Her father worked as an employee in the Singareni Collieries Company. She is married to Hari Singh Banoth of Tekulapalli immediately after completing her intermediate education in 2002.
However, with her husband's encouragement, she completed her B.Tech and later obtained post-graduation in computer science from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad (JNTUH). In 2006, they started Hari Singh Education Institutions which has four private schools and four junior colleges in Tekulapalli and Hyderabad. Haripriya’s husband was an active member of the TDP which influenced her to join politics.
In the 2014 Assembly elections, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu nominated Haripriya Banoth to represent the Yellandu constituency from the TDP. However, she was defeated by Congress candidate Kanakaiah Koram by a margin of 11,507 votes. In 2017, she joined the Congress. In the 2018 Assembly elections, she contested as an MLA on behalf of the Congress and defeated Kanakaiah Koram of the TRS with a margin of 2,887 votes. She became the youngest MLA in Telangana at the age of 33.
In February 2019, Haripriya carried out a hunger strike for 36 hours demanding the establishment of a steel plant in Bayyaram. In March 2019, she shifted her loyalties to the BRS and cited the interest of her constituency's development as the reason. In June 2021, she announced that she would adopt two orphaned children from Yellandu who lost both their parents at a young age, in a response to Telangana IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao's tweet.
Koram Kanakaiah (Congress)
Kanakaiah was born on August 06, 1960 in Koyagudem and hails from an agricultural family. He began his political career in 1986 through the Congress party.
In 1995, he was elected as a ZPTC member from Tekulapalli mandal. In the 2009 Assembly elections, he contested as an MLA on behalf of the Congress and was defeated by TDP candidate Vooke Abbaiah. In the 2014 Assembly elections, he was elected as an MLA from Yellandu by defeating TDP candidate Haripriya Banoth with a margin of 44,945 votes. After becoming an MLA from the Congress, he shifted his loyalties to the TRS in 2014 and cited the reason of constituency development. In the 2018 Assembly elections, he contested as an MLA on behalf of the TRS and was defeated by Congress candidate Haripriya Banoth.
In the 2019 Zilla Parishad elections, he contested and won as a ZPTC member from the Tekulpalli mandal. He was unanimously elected as ZP chairperson of Bhadradri Kothagudem. In July 2023, he joined the Congress along with former MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy in the presence of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at the Telangana Congress Jana Garjana Sabha in Khammam. In the 2023 Assembly elections, he is going to take on BRS candidate Haripriya Banoth.
D Ravinder Naik (BJP)
Ravinder Naik was born on August 15, 1952 to DT Naik and Janaki Bai in Mondrai village in Warangal district. He pursued BA from Osmania University. He is married to Nanda Naik and has two daughters. He began his political career with the Congress party
In 1978, Ravinder Naik contested on behalf of the Congress from Devarakonda Assembly constituency. He was elected as an MLA for the first time by defeating his nearest rival CPI candidate Ketawat Haria with a majority of 15,674 votes. In the 1983 Assembly elections, he was elected as an MLA for the second time with a majority of 3,160 votes.
Ravinder Naik stayed away from active politics for some time. He joined the TRS during the Telangana movement. He contested in the 2004 parliamentary elections from the Warangal Lok Sabha constituency and was elected as MP for the first time. He defeated his closest rival TDP candidate Bodakunt Venkateshwarlu. Ravinder Naik left the TRS and joined Congress due to some reasons. After joining the Congress, he was TPCC official spokesperson. In September 2019, he joined the BJP. In the 2023 Assembly elections, he is going to contest as an MLA on behalf of the BJP in Yellandu.
Assembly constituency information
- It is a rural constituency and part of Mahabubabad Parliament constituency. Tribals form a majority of the population.
- Kamepalle, Yellandu, Bayyaram, Tekulapalle and Garla Mandals are part of this constituency.
- Bayyaram mandal is home to many minerals such as Iron ore, Coal, Manganese, etc.
- Singareni Collieries Company Limited is located in Yellandu.
- Earlier it was a stronghold for the Communists due to the presence of the Naxal movement. ex-MLA Gummadi Narsaiah from the CPI-ML won five times from this segment (1983,1985,1989,1999,2004).
- Later in 2009, the TDP was able to win once in the constituency
- In the last two elections, the Congress candidates won from this segment but joined the ruling TRS.
- The Lambada population plays a key role in the election outcome.
2014 Assembly election Analysis:
- In the 2014 Assembly elections, the TDP did not give a seat to sitting MLA Vooke Abbaiah. He contested as an independent and lost to Congress candidate Koram Kanakaiah.
- The TDP leadership fielded Haripriya Banoth in the constituency.
- After being defeated in the elections, Vooke Abbaiah joined the TRS
- Koram Kanakaiah got the ticket from the Congress and won the election because of support from the Lambada community.
2018 Assembly election Analysis:
- Banoth Haripriya, who contested and was defeated in the 2014 Assembly elections on behalf of the TDP, joined the Congress in 2017.
- In the 2018 Assembly elections, the Congress leadership fielded Haripriya and the TRS fielded Koram Kanakaiah.
- Koram Kanakaiah was defeated by Haripriya.
- Due to support from the Left parties, the Congress was able to consolidate Koya community votes, while Lambada votes were split between the TRS and independent candidates.
- Alliance with the TDP also helped Congress candidates to secure BC community votes.
- Allegations of land grabbing on MLA Haripriya Banoth, even from her own party cadre.
- Conflict with ex-MLA Koram Kanakaiah.
- The Congress is trying to capitalise sitting MLA's land grabbing allegations for its victory.