Political analysts feel that the opposition leader is trying to win the votes of Kammas, who traditionally support the TDP.

Will Jagans wish to rename Krishna district after NTR cost him Kapu votesFacebook/JaganMohanReddy
news Politics Thursday, May 03, 2018 - 16:42

As Andhra politics heats up much ahead of the 2019 Assembly and General elections, Jagan Mohan Reddy is trying to keep his stock up. And one attempt by the leader is to rename Andhra’s Krishna district to Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR) district.

During his Praja Sankalpa Yatra, interacting with people in Nimmakuru — NTR’s village —  Jagan said, "Once I come to power, I will name this district as Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao district. I will develop this village, this district," he said.

NTR, a Kamma and the founder of the Telugu Desam Party, went on to become an icon of the community, which is a numerically strong community in Andhra Pradesh.

Political analysts feel that the opposition leader is trying to win the votes of Kammas, who traditionally support the TDP.

"This statement can be treated as a desperate attempt to earn the predominantly Kamma community votes," said political commentator Chinna Dandu.

The YSRCP, despite being the main opposition party, does not have any notable Kamma leaders, especially from Krishna and Guntur districts, barring MLA Kodali Nani and Yalamanchili Ravi.

However, observers feel that it is not easy to change the name as the same district also has a considerable Kapu population, who are somewhat lenient to the YSCRP. The party has a significant chunk of Kapu leaders in the district. The Kapus are a demographically strong community in coastal Andhra Pradesh.

So is this gamble going to make Jagan lose out on votes from the Kapus?

"The decision might have been aimed at pulling the Kamma community towards YSRCP, but it may end up costing them Kapu votes,” Chinna said.

Political stunt?

Speaking to TNM, TDP MLA Gorantla Butchaiah Chowdary called it a political stunt.

"These are the same people who humiliated NTR by changing the name of the Hyderabad airport to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. No one is ready to believe Jagan's words," he said.

When asked if he believes that Jagan is targeting the Kamma vote bank — which has traditionally been the TDP’s — Butchaiah said, “He is trying to fool people. It is a clear political stunt”.

The leader claimed that the TDP, under the leadership of Chandrababu Naidu, would construct a world-class capital and install an NTR memorial stupa in it. "We know how to respect our leader (NTR)," he said.

YSRCP MLA and senior party functionary G Sreekanth Reddy, said that they the TDP only wants to hype Chandrababu.

"They never respected NTR. The TDP and its media only working to hype Chandrababu,” he said.

Sreekanth, when asked, was quick to rule out that they the move was aimed at garnering the votes of a particular community.

"We never confined NTR to any single community. We see him as a leader who tried to uplift the poorer sections with welfare schemes, like the late YS Rajashekar Reddy,” he said.

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