In fact, L Rajagopal, as a Congress MP, was representing the Vijaywada constituency in the Lower House. After the bitter face-off over Andhra bifurcation was witnessed, Rajagopal kept himself away from the political arena but interestingly, the coastal Andhra, which is known for its production of chillies is no longer having a good time with Sonia Gandhi-led party.

Just a look at the district Congress office in Vijaywada, considered as one of the Congress strongholds, provides a live account of the ground situation. The office, which is situated at Governorpet Road, is enveloped amid layers of silence. A few posters of Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and party candidate Avinash Devinani can be seen.

It was later known that Avinash is looking after the campaigning process for the elections from his own residence. The Congress has issued ticket to Avinash this time, who is a youth leader and son of former minister Rajshekhar Devinani. He hails from Rasukhdar Khamma community which is believed to have a considerable influence in the coastal regions of Andhra and can have a certain impact on the poll equations.

Located around 50 kilometres away from Vijaywada is Guntur which houses the largest wholesale chilly market in Asia. The people here burst into laughter even at the mention of Rajagopal’s pepper spray incident. The political horizon of this area is dotted with elites and industrialists and they don’t see much into the pepper spray stunt.

There are some other issues like congested roads, flood in River Krishna and poor railway connectivity despite the fact that the town houses the biggest railway station of South-Central Railway.

Besides, the issue of whether or not Vijaywada would become the capital is also a major subject of discussion.

A few kilometers away, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Kesi Devnani’s regional office is located. Kumar Mahesh, an ex-Congressman says that the way party has bifurcated the state and played a role in the creation of Telangana has angered the people of Seemandhra . It’s mainly due to this very reason he left the Congress and joined TDP.

The region, from where the famous dance form Kuchipudi originated has seen several leaders changing their political stance as well as allegiance over the past few months.  

Popular cinestar-turned-politician Chiranjeevi, who visited Vijaywada last week also received a very cold response.

Krishna district spreading from Vijaywada to Machilipatnam has two Lok Sabha seats and 16 assembly constituencies. It is set to witness a key contest between Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress and TDP-BJP combine.

More or less, a similar scenario is likely to be witnessed in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra Pradesh, where polling is slated to be held for 26 Lok Sabha seats and 194 Vidhan Sabha seats on 7th May.

It’s almost clear that after the bifurcation, the state, which is grappling with identity crisis, is going to determine the fate of some of the major political parties.


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