Thummala Nageswara Rao hunts for lost legacy in Khammam on Congress ticket

The BRS has given a ticket to Puvvada Ajay Kumar for a second term while the party’s dissident Nageswara Rao is contesting on a Congress ticket. He had won the seat way back in 2009

Thummala Nageswara Rao hunts for lost legacy in Khammam on Congress ticket

District: Khammam

MLA: Ajay Kumar Puvvada

Reservation: GEN

Total Voters: 3,14,397

Booths: 355

Urban Voters: 80%

Rural Voters: 20%

Male: 49.30%

Female: 50.70%

Caste & Religious Demography

Gen + BC: 78.80%

SC: 11.50%

ST: 9.70%

Hindu: 85.00%

Muslim: 13%

Others : 2.00%

Candidates Profile

Puvvada Ajay Kumar (BRS)

Personal background: He was born in 1965 in a political family. His father Puvvada Nageswara Rao was a communist leader and two-term MLA from Khammam. He is married to Vijaya Lakshmi and they have one son who is a doctor.

Education Qualification: MSc (Agriculture)

Profession: President of Mamata Education Society. This society runs hospitals, medical colleges and nursing colleges.

Political Background: He started his political career in YSRCP in 2012. He later joined the Congress and contested in the 2014 Assembly Elections. He won the constituency by defeating the TDP candidate Thummala Nageswara Rao by a margin of 3 per cent. In 2016, he defected to the ruling TRS (now BRS). He is close to KTR. In the 2018 elections, he contested on a BRS ticket and won the election by defeating Nama Nageswara Rao from the TDP. Currently, he is serving as the Transport Minister.

Thummala Nageswara Rao (Congress)

Nageswara Rao was born on November 15, 1953 in Gollagudem village (Gandugula Palli) of Dammapeta Mandal in Khammam district. He completed B.Com before entering politics.

Political Career

He joined the TDP in 1982. Rao was elected on three occasions to the Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh as a TDP candidate from Sathupalli constituency in 1985, 1994 and 1999.

Due to changes in reservation of seats in constituencies, he contested the 2009 elections from the Khammam constituency and defeated his opponents Younis Sulthan and Jalagam Venkatrao.

He contested that seat again in 2014 and lost by a margin of little over 6,000 votes. He joined the BRS in September 2014 and was inducted into KCR’s Cabinet in December 2014. He served as a Minister for Roads and Buildings. He resigned from the BRS and joined the Congress in September 2023 after being denied a BRS ticket.

Miryala Ramakrishna (Jana Sena)

Jana Sena Party Telangana State student wing general secretary Miryala Ramakrishna has been given a ticket to contest from Khammam. JSP’s ticket was confirmed as part of alliance with the BJP. Ramakrishna was a student of Osmania University. He also participated in the Telangana movement. Being a follower of Pawan Kalyan, he was nominated for the seat.

Constituency information

Geography- It is the headquarters of Khammam district and is predominantly an urban constituency which has two mandals

Background: It has been a stronghold for the Left parties since its inception in 1956. However, since the last three elections, there has been a steady decline of their influence. The BRS used that opportunity and won in the 2018 Assembly Elections for the first time. In the last 14 elections, the CPI won nine times, Congress three times and the TDP and the BRS once.

  • It is a Kamma dominated seat. In the last four elections, sitting MLAs hail from the Kamma community.
  • There is a strong influence of Andhra culture in this constituency.
  • Muslims are a significant population in this constituency, their votes split between the TDP and the CPI. However in the 2018 Assembly Elections there is a sizable shift in Muslim vote towards the BRS.
  • The TDP has a strong presence in this constituency but due to infighting between Thummala Nageswara Rao (ex MLA) and Nama Nageswar Rao, the TDP lost the 2014, elections by a narrow margin.
  • The BRS too had infighting between Thummala Nageswara Rao (ex-MLA), Puvvada Ajay Kumar (MLA) and Sathupally MLA Venkata Veeraiah.

Cultural / Historical / Religious Identifiers

  • Kakaram lake
  • Khammam Fort
  • Stambhadri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple

2014 Assembly Election analysis

Khammam is dominated by Muslims, Kamma and Kapu communities. The TDP has a sizable presence in this constituency, with its then most popular leader Thummala Nageswara Rao who was able to defeat Jalagam Venkat Rao in 2009. Due to infighting in the TDP between Thummala Nageswara Rao (MLA) and Nama Nageswar Rao (MP), they lost the constituency by a narrow margin (3 per cent) to Congress candidate Puvvada Ajay Kumar. The Congress and CPI alliance in Khammam helped Ajay Kumar garner support from Communist voters. Ajay’s family’s political background (his father was a two-time MLA from Khammam) also helped him to consolidate his vote base. The YSRCP also contested this election and split Andhra settlers and Muslim votes from the TDP.

However after elections, Thummala Nageswara Rao joined the BRS, because of this popularity he was made MLC and minister in the first BRS government .

In 2014 Assembly, Ajay Kumar (Congress) secured 37.9 per cent of votes, Thummala Nageswara Rao (TDP) secured 34.8 per cent of votes, Nagabhushaiah (YSRCP) secured 13.4 per cent of votes while Gundala Krishna (BRS) secured 7.5 percent of votes. The BJP secured less than 2 per cent votes in this constituency.

2018 Election Analysis

Ajay Kumar (MLA) who contested as the Congress candidate in 2014, joined the BRS in 2016 and Thummala Nageswara Rao who contested against Ajay Kumar in 2014 elections had also joined the BRS and was made the Minister in the BRS Government . This helped the BRS consolidate their vote base and also welfare schemes to Muslim community helped them increase their vote share. The alliance between the TDP, the CPI and the Congress didn't achieve the desired results due to lack of coordination between local workers. The YSRCP didn't contest this election, helping the BRS.

Key Local Issues

  • Lack of access to clean drinking water.
  • People are facing problems with the open drainage system in Khammam town.
  • Internal roads are damaged, repair works are not done.
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