The Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency was considered as prestigious by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in 2014 general elections after Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s (KCR) daughter and Telangana Jagruthi founder K Kavitha was roped into the fray against the Congress’s incumbent candidate Madhu Yashki Goud and the BJP’s then MLA from Nizamabad (urban), Yendala Lakshminarayana. Kavitha contested from the constituency in the context of the formation of Telangana and having contributed to the Telangana agitation.
KCR’s daughter was pivotal in organising Bathukamma and leading Telangana Jagruti, TRS's cultural arm, during the statehood movement. Hence, Kavitha was a familiar figure in the State by the time she was elected as the Lok Sabha candidate from Nizamabad, under which seven Assembly constituencies—Jagtial, Koratla, Nizamabad Urban, Nizamabad Rural, Armoor, Balkonda and Bodhan fall.
In 2014, the Nizamabad Lok Sabha election was a three-faced contest between the TRS, Congress and the TDP-BJP alliance. While BJP candidate Yendala Lakshminarayana, who hails from the locally dominant Munnur Kapu community, had an advantage of being the MLA from Nizamabad Urban, Congress candidate Madhu Yashki Goud was targeting a hat-trick.
Although it was perceived as a tough contest between the Congress and TRS, Kavitha sailed through with a vote share of 43% while the Congress and BJP were confined to 26% and 21% vote share in the constituency with over 15 lakh voters.History suggests the constituency has been a Congress bastion before the Telangana movement cropped up. As it turned out, Kavitha emerged victorious and went on to represent Nizamabad as the lone woman MP from the State.
Analysts say the presence of a large chunk of natives of the Seemandhra region in Bodhan, Armoor and other places in the region had turned the tide in favour of the TRS. The Congress party was decimated to single digit in AP elections in 2014. Also, Kavitha had already turned into a prominent public figure thanks to her promotion of the Bathukamma festival. Her ability to speak three languages—Hindi, Telangana and English, was an added advantage in the 2014 election campaign.
Post-bifurcation, KCR was focused in developing the economically- deprived Nizamabad district. Although the district possesses major irrigation projects like Nizam Sagar, Ali Sagar Lift Irrigation, Pocharam, and Sri Ram Sagar, farm distress and poor economic status of the district was a commonality since decades.
The TRS government’s implementation of welfare schemes--KCR kits, loan waiver, Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bhima and Mission Bhagiratha gave the much-needed relief to the vulnerable sections in the constitituency while Kavitha’s efforts for the region’s growth is undeniable. Rs 96.60 crore assistance to the Nizamabad Medical college, a 100-bed hospital in with Rs 17.50 crore and the conversion of Bodhan hospital to a district hospital with additional funds were the strides made in improving healthcare in the district.
Over the last four years, Rs 359 crore was allotted to Panchayat Raj department, Rs 960 crore to R&B Department, Rs 164 crore for laying cement concrete roads and Rs 228 crore to National Highways were allotted for developmental activities in the district. The Nizamabad-Peddapalli railway line with a budget of Rs Rs 348 crore and Road Over Bridges with Rs 453 crore budget were sanctioned.
However, locals reckon that Kavitha failed to implement her 2014 poll promises—setting up a National Turmeric Board and reopening the Nizam Sugar Factory. In conversation with Sakshipost, the Nizamabad MP said she was the only contestant in the Lok Sabha polls to have announced a constituency-specific manifesto. “I have in a personal capacity and through the TRS chief approached the Centre for setting up the Turmeric Board in Nizamabad. Time and again I had represented to the Union Ministers on reopening the Nizam Sugar Factory. Unfortunately, we couldn’t accomplish them,” she said.
TRS Sweeps Nizamabad In Assembly Polls
Following the disastrous performance of the Congress in the 2018 Assembly elections, many a citizen opine that Kavitha’s re-election from Nizamabad is almost certain, also due to the TRS government’s special interest in transforming the district. Interestingly, the TRS swept all the seven Assembly constituencies which come under Nizamabad in the recent polls. The highlight was TRS candidate Dr Sanjay Kumar’s vote share of over a lakh against senior Congress leader Jeevan Reddy’s defeat in Jagtial.
The TRS managed to retain all the Assembly seats it had in the Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency-- Vemula Prashanth Reddy secured a 43,229 vote majority against Congress’s E Anil Kumar in Balkonda, Asannagari Jeevan Reddy secured a 28,795 vote majority against Congress’s Aakula Lalitha in Armoor, Shakeel Ahmed secured a 8,101 vote majority against Congress’s Sudharshan Reddy in Bodhan, Bajireddy Govardhan secured a 25,654 vote majority against Congress’s Rekula Bhupathi Reddy in Nizamabad Rural, Bigala Ganesh Gupta secured a 25,842 vote majority against Congress’s Taher Bin Hamdan in Nizamabad Urban and Kalvakuntla Vidhyasagar secured a 31,220 vote majority against Congress’s Juvvadi Narasinga Rao.