Narasapuram Lok Sabha Election 2024: TDP-JSP-BJP Alliance Hopes to Pack a Punch in This Andhra Pradesh Constituency

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Narasapuram Lok Sabha constituency, one of the 25 parliamentary constituencies in Andhra Pradesh, falls under the General category. (Getty)

Narasapuram Lok Sabha constituency, one of the 25 parliamentary constituencies in Andhra Pradesh, falls under the General category. (Getty)

The constituency will vote in phase 4 of the polls on May 13 and results will be declared on June 4

Narasapuram Lok Sabha constituency, one of the 25 parliamentary constituencies in Andhra Pradesh, falls under the General category and encompasses parts of West Godavari district. It comprises seven legislative assembly segments, namely Achanta, Palacole, Narasapuram, Bhimavaram, Undi Tanuku, Tanuku, and Tadepalligudem. The current MP is Kanumuru Raghu Rama Krishna Raju of YSRCP since 2019. He was preceded by Gokaraju Gangaraju of the BJP (2014). For the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the candidates in the fray are Guduri Uma Bala (YSRCP), Bupathiraju Srinivas Varma (BJP), and Korlapati Brahmananda Rao Naidu (INC). The constituency will vote in phase 4 of the polls on May 13 and results will be declared on June 4.

Political Dynamics

  • Can Alliance Pack A Punch? The TDP-JSP-BJP alliance is working in full swing to replace Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP as the state goes through state and parliamentary elections simultaneously. Narasapuram is all set to witness a tough battle between the TDP-led alliance and the YSRCP which currently holds five assembly segments out of seven in the constituency. While YSRCP had an upper hand in 2019, political sands have shifted dramatically since then with the emergence of the opposition alliance. This seat was historically a Congress party bastion, before converting into a TDP stronghold between 1984 and 1998, after which Narasapuram swung between Congress and BJP until the YSRCP finally registered a breakthrough in 2019.
  • BJP-TDP-JSP Divided Over Nominee: Initially, there were talks that sitting MP Kanumuru Raghu Rama Krishna Raju, who popularly goes by the name RRR, would be granted a ticket by the alliance after he rebelled against the YSRCP leadership and joined the TDP. However, the alliance settled on the BJP’s Bupathiraju Srinivas Varma, a loyalist of the party, while RRR is being fielded in the legislative assembly elections from Undi, also in the Narasapuram constituency. While TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu had taken it upon himself to convince the alliance, especially the BJP, of nominating RRR from the seat, the plan did not come through and RRR accused the BJP of being influenced by Jagan Mohan Reddy who ensured that RRR does not get a Lok Sabha ticket. Upon resigning from the party in February 2024, Raju penned a public letter to the chief minister, likening him to a maverick dictator. He expressed that the CM’s persistent attempts to disqualify him from his parliamentary membership, ‘akin to Mohammad Gazni’, were unsuccessful. He went on to highlight his dedicated efforts in developing the Narasapuram constituency during his tenure as an MP.
  • Will This RRR Work? RRR, who won in 2019 with a margin of 31,909 votes on a YSRCP ticket, has been described as “eccentric” and a political firebrand who wields tremendous sway in the Narasapuram constituency. It was being said earlier that the alliance’s candidates in at least three of the assembly seats — Palakollu, Narasapuram and Tadepalligudem — depend on him to secure funding for their campaigns. This speaks of RRR’s influence. Observers also point out the seat would have been an easy catch with RRR in the fray but with lesser-known Srinivas Varma, it may become difficult. Further, the BJP also has to combat the narrative that it was strong-armed by Jagan Mohan Reddy, which portrays an image of weakness in the party. TDP and JSP leaders expressed dissatisfaction over Varma receiving the ticket and did not attend his rally in the constituency. Following his nomination, Varma participated in a rally that passed through Aakiveedu, Undi, and Bhimavaram, with only BJP leaders in attendance. The absence of TDP and JSP leaders, as well as their flags, was notable. They have voiced their opposition to Varma’s candidacy as the alliance’s MP. Meanwhile, BJP leaders questioned the authority of TDP and JSP in determining their party’s candidate selection. TDP claims to have granted the seat to BJP under the condition that Raghu Rama Krishna Raju would be accommodated as promised by the party high command.
  • Potential Victory on the Cards: Srinivas Varma, called by some as “BJP Varma”, made headlines when he reportedly got emotional and prostrated over the party’s Lotus symbol as he thanked the BJP for selecting him. Known as a hardcore loyalist, Varma is the state secretary of Andhra Pradesh BJP and had been waiting for decades for the opportunity. He has an RSS background and had been keeping a low profile until his nomination. He said his candidature was a recognition of 30 years of hard work and patience. His main challenge is to become a known face in the constituency. The Jana Sena and the TDP are contesting in three and four seats respectively in the assembly elections in Narasapuram, while BJP settled with the Lok Sabha seat. One concern about this dynamic is whether the parties can ensure a vote transfer to the BJP candidate in the Lok Sabha elections. Statistically, however, there is tremendous potential in this alliance. In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the TDP and JSP were contesting separately, which benefited the YSRCP, handing it its first victory in Narasapuram. The YSRCP won 38.4 per cent of the votes, while the TDP bagged 35.8 per cent and the JSP got 21.5 per cent of the votes. With the latter two in an alliance along with the BJP, their combined vote share has the potential to dethrone the YSRCP.
  • Caste Matrix: In this upper-caste dominated constituency, the Kshatriya community, with roughly one lakh votes, is the most influential, and Varma comes from this community. The alliance hopes to bank on RRR’s might, especially among the influential Kshatriya Raju community, and his years of opposition to CM Jagan. As he contests from Undi, he is still very much in a position to influence the outcome in the Lok Sabha Election. Kapu voters, at around 2 lakh votes, also form a major vote bank here, and are expected to lean towards the alliance this election. Upper-caste voters in East and West Godavari regions are deeply influenced by Pawan Kalyan, while Chandrababu Naidu is popular among BCs and minority Christian voters also to a considerable extent. This further bolsters the alliance’s chances of registering a victory. Moreover, while Jagan faces a tide of anti-incumbency against his party, the Modi factor is on the rise especially among the youth. Welfare schemes initiated by the centre have made a considerable impact, and the BJP’s development pitch finds deep resonance here.
  • No Cakewalk For YSRCP: The ruling YSRCP has nominated a BC candidate for upper-caste dominated Narasapuram Lok Sabha constituency, owing to which winning might not be easy. Guduri Umabala, from the Settibalija community, is an advocate and president of the YSRC women’s wing, with significant influence in the constituency. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s decision to appoint BCs as candidates of upper caste-dominated constituencies is noteworthy, according to political analysts. The Kshatriya community has historically dominated Narasapuram, winning it 14 times out of 16. The Kapu community has won twice. Although the Kapu community is the largest in these constituencies, other BC communities and upper castes also play a significant role. It remains to be seen whether upper caste voters will support YSRCP candidates in the upcoming elections. Umabala, not a well-known face so far, is banking on the possibility of a BC vs non-BC polarisation to take place. However, her campaign has not been as energetic, and polarisation does not appear visible. Also, financially, she leans entirely on the party for campaign funds, which makes for a tough battle with the BJP-TDP-JSP trio’s better funded campaign. CM Reddy is faced with a solid challenge in this region as the trio in opposition comes with significant political and financial heft. Significant damage has been caused by RRR’s direct beef with the chief minister as Kshatriya voters are swayed against the latter. Anti-incumbency is threatening the leader’s standing even though he has welfare schemes to rely on like Amma Vodi, which involves money transfer of Rs 13,000 to parents to help with their children’s education.

Key Issues

  • Polavaram Irrigation Project: People are agitated at the slow progress of Polavaram irrigation. Work had started at the site back in 2004-05. However, delays and political war of wortds has now extended the project deadline to March 2026. The estimated funds rose significantly and now stand at Rs 47,725 crore. Moreover, according to reports, not even 50 per cent of the work has been completed and people believe that the deadline for the project will be extended beyond 2026. Both the previous and current Union and state governments have blamed each other for the massive delays, but ultimately it is the people who are suffering.
  • TIDCO houses: The demolition of TIDCO houses is another political blame-game that is being played out in the region. The TDP government had constructed more than 4,000 flats at a cost of Rs 30 crore, which was to be handed over to people below the poverty line. The flats were constructed on 44 acres of land. However, before the beneficiaries could be allotted houses, the government changed in the state and now, the YSRCP government has allowed the demolition of the constructed buildings. This has angered the people who were given hope by the previous government of owning a flat. People have raised their voices and staged protests but to no avail. This is also in line with the YSRCP halting and failing to progress on the schemes launched by the previous government.
  • Dumping Ground: The issue of garbage dumping and unavailability of proper garbage dumping grounds has become one of major nuisances of Narasapuram. Mounds of garbage get selected at the side of the road by hawkers, construction debris, and household waste. The garbage dumping sites are overflowing and cause stink up to many kilometres. These also lead to major disease-carrying pathogens to breed in such unhygienic and unsanitary conditions leading to overall decline of health of the people.
  • Unemployment and Emigration: While the area has a couple of industrial parks, no major companies have opened their plant or offices in the region which has led to a rise in unemployment in the region. It is also in line with the massive unemployment in the state. Youth in the region often end up migrating to urban centres of nearby Bengaluru or Chennai. According to reports, a majority of urban households are affected due to migration.
  • Conversions: Conversions are a major issue in Narasapuram. Although the issue has not gained major traction in the mainstream media, locals are apparently miffed at the serial conversions taking place. A few decades ago, Christianity was unknown here. Now, churches outnumber temples. This massive conversion spree has targeted the SC and STs who are wooed with benefits and cash to convert. Despite pleas by the constituents to keep a check on the illegal conversions, the state government has refused to act.
  • Alankrutha Lace Park: The lace park was closed in recent years due to fraudulent practices and government’s failure at marketing the product. There were a hue and cry as it was a major employer in the region for artisans. At least 20,000 artisans, mostly women, are registered with the 51 cooperative societies which worked at the park. Last year, the park was restarted under guidance from the local administration. It is also being reported that the state government plans to boost production and improve infrastructure by investing Rs 70 crore in the park. However, those promises have not yet borne fruit.

Infrastructure Development

  • Narasapuram Bypass: Construction of bypass to Narasapuram town on NH-216 is underway. It will help ease traffic congestions in the city, much to the relief of the locals.
  • High-Level Bridge: Construction of a high-level bridge across Mogadindi drain is underway. Another bridge is under construction on the Gonteru drain of Bhimavaram- Narasapuram road.
  • Widening of major roads: Widening of Narasapuram-Aswaraopeta road and Bhimavaram- Narasapuram road from two lane to four lanes is currently underway.
  • Railway Infrastructure: Proposals were made for new lines, including one connecting Kothapalli and Narasapuram. Existing lines like the Duvvada-Vijayawada and Vijayawada-Gudlavalleru-Machilipatnam, Nidadavole-Bhimavaram-Narasapuram, and Gudivada-Bhimavaram sections were slated for tripling, doubling, and electrification to improve connectivity and capacity. Additionally, enhancement projects aimed to expand platforms at Narasapuram station, while yard remodelling and loop extension works were undertaken at Navabpalem and Visakhapatnam stations.

Voter Demographics (2011 Census)

Total Voters (2019): 1438922

Urban Areas: 26.7%

Rural Areas: 73.3%

Literacy Rate: 67.37%

Social Composition:

SC: 16.2%

ST: 0.9%

Religious Composition:

Hindu: 86%

Muslim: 2.19%

Christian: 2.77%

Stay updated with live coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 3 Voting In Karnataka And Gujarat on our website. Get the latest updates, polling trends, result dates and more.

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