Kadapa (formerly known as Cuddapah) is one of 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in Andhra Pradesh and was dominated by the Communist Party of India in the 1960s before becoming a Congress bastion.
The first phase of voting in 25 constituencies of Andhra Pradesh ended on April 11 with over 80 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise till midnight. The fate of 17 candidates contesting from Kadapa will be decided on May 23 when counting of votes takes place and the result is declared.
From the Lok Sabha election in 1977 till 2009, Congress was indeed the political force to reckon with and managed to win nine out of 10 times. YS Rajashekhar Reddy (YSR), the two-time CM of Andhra Pradesh, ensured that his dominance in Kadapa was quite unchallenged as he secured wins in 1989, 1991, 1996 and 1998. His younger brother, YS Vivekananda Reddy, took over from where YSR left off and secured wins in 1999 and 2004. YSR's son - Jagan Mohan Reddy - carried forward the family legacy on behalf of Congress before splitting and forming YSRCP.
Kadapa is an extremely crucial seat for political parties and was at the center of the anti-Telangana movement. The formation of YSRCP itself was a result of differences over the issue of Andhra Pradesh's bifurcation. While YSR's strong influence continues to give YSRCP a massive edge here, TDP would also be hoping that its very vocal demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh helps it gain points here.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, YSRCP's Avinash Reddy strolled home to an easy win by managing 55.95 per cent of the total votes. He defeated TDP's Reddeppagari Srinivasa Reddy by a massive margin of 1,90,323 votes.
This year, issues related to economic development and social prosperity are once again expected to be of prime concern for voters. All 25 seats in Andhra Pradesh will vote on April 11.