Seemandhra face-off: It`s CM hopefuls Naidu vs Jaganmohan
Vijayawada: Lok Sabha and Assembly polls on May 7 in Seemandhra seem to have narrowed down to a N Chandrababu Naidu versus Y S Jaganmohan Reddy fight, with the TDP chief seeking a comeback while the YSRC supremo is looking to expand his party`s footprint in the political arena.
Reflecting the national pattern of general elections being a Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi fight, Seemandhra- which represents regions of Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra- is witnessing a direct battle of personalities with respective parties having taken a back seat in the run-up to the polls.
Post bifurcation, the two "chief minister hopefuls" are projecting themselves as the lone constructive leader in rebuilding residual Andhra Pradesh.
While Naidu is seeking a sixth straight term from Kuppam assembly seat, which he has been winning since 1989, Jaganmohan is contesting from Pulivendla assembly segment.
TDP spokesperson Kodela Shiva Prasad Rao, also a close aide of the party chief, admits that the election scenario in Seemandhra region has become a virtual fight between Naidu and Jaganmohan.
"People believe that Andhra Pradesh can only prosper under Naidu and his contributions to Hyderabad stand as a classic example," he says.
Congress and its leaders are understood to be facing a tough time in Seemandhra as many locals term "unilateral" the division of Andhra Pradesh by the ruling party at the Centre.
A total of 333 candidates are in the fray for 25 Lok Sabha seats and 2,243 for 175 assembly seats in Seemandhra.
The 64-year-old Naidu, a former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, is credited with bringing in global IT giants to set up shop in Hyderabad while Jaganmohan, 41, is seen as carving out his own niche even as he seeks to continue his father and former Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy`s legacy.
Political observers say this clash of personalities is a marked departure in a state where the stature and clout of candidates in every constituency earlier mattered, apart from their political affiliations.
Both the influential leaders have taken digs at each other on various counts ranging from corruption to false promises and their role in the `division` of Andhra Pradesh.
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