Sitting Congress MP from Karimnagar Ponnam Prabhakar is engaged in a keen contest against former Union Minister Vidyasagar Rao of BJP and TRS nominee B Vinod Kumar in the Lok Sabha elections. Karimnagar was a hotbed during the agitation for separate Telangana and Prabhakar had been in the forefront of the stir. Telangana, which will become a full-fledged State on June 2, will vote on April 30.
He even took on the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy for opposing the statehood demand. He is, however, now facing a challenge from Rao, also a son-of-the-soil and two-time MP, and Kumar of TRS, a party closely identified with the statehood movement.
Besides his fight for realising the Telangana demand, Prabhakar banks heavily on the development works undertaken by him in the constituency. "The development programmes undertaken by me, transparency, my accessibility in the constituency and my active participation for separate Telangana would see me through," he said.
Rao, who served as the Union Minister of State for Home in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, has party cadre right from the village level. The BJP leader had won from Karimnagar in 1998 election and also in 1999.
Rao, who takes credit for carrying out various development works during his tenure as a Union minister, enjoys good rapport with various sections in the constituency. "Karimnagar Parliamentary constituency is starved of power and water for irrigation needs. The development undertaken by me and the prevailing BJP wave in the country would be positive factors for me in the election," he said.
TRS' Kumar, who unsuccessfully contested against Prabhakar in the 2009 election, belongs to Warangal district. He said he would be the "brand ambassador" for Karimnagar.
TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao has addressed public meetings in the constituency in support of Kumar.
Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat consists of Karimnagar, Choppadandi (SC), Vemulawada, Sircilla, Manakondur (SC), Huzurabad and Husnabad Assembly segments. The Parliamentary seat has 15,06,787 voters, including 7,51,256 women. In 2009, Prabhakar, who secured 3,17,927 votes, defeated Kumar by 50,243 votes.