Though Srikakulam is considered an economically backward district, it is active on the political front, as was evident in 1952 when Boddepalli Rajagopla Rao won as an independent candidate, although the nation’s mood was in favour of Congress Party in the first general elections after India attained Independence.
Later, Mr. Rajagopala Rao joined the Congress and represented Srikakulam in Parliament till 1984, barring few years between 1967 and 1971 when Sardar Gowthu Latchanna got elected to Lok Saba on Swatantra Party ticket. Interestingly, both Mr. Rajagopala Rao and Mr. Gowthu Latchanna played a prominent role in national politics.
The legacy continued when Kinjarapu Yerrannaidu was elected to Parliament in 1996, and he represented the seat till 2009. He became Minister in the Union cabinet and leader of leader of Telugu Desam Parliament Party. He headed the Standing Committee on Railways. In spite of the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy wave in the State, Mr. Yerrannaidu could win the seat in 2004. However, he was defeated by Congress nominee Killi Kruparani in 2009.
Ms. Kruparani also played a key role in New Delhi politics by securing a berth in the Union Ministry although she got elected to the Parliament for the first time. Mr. Yerrannaidu’s son, Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu, got elected to Parliament in 2014.
After the death of Mr. Yerrannaidu in a road accident in 2012, Mr. Rammohan Naidu contested from the constituency in 2014. He defeated his nearest rival and YSRCP candidate Reddi Shanti with a margin of 1.27, 572 votes. Former ZP Vice Chairperson Duvvada Srinivas is contesting on YSRCP ticket this time. Both leaders are confident of winning the seat with comfortable majority, citing their own political advantages.
In the last elections, the TDP won six of the seven Assembly segments in Srikakulam Lok Sabha constituency. The YSRCP won the Patapatnam seat, but its MLA Kalamata Venkata Ramana joined the TDP in 2015.
Having sitting MLAs in all seven segments helped the TDP to build the cadre further. The party also feels that welfare schemes have reached nook and corner of the district and it had helped the party win the hearts of people.
The YSRCP claims that the TDP could not ensure any concrete development of the constituency in the last five years and failed to establish a single reputed institution, although many were sanctioned in the last five years. The TDP claims it could ensure establishment of Rice Research Centre, construction of Vamsadhara phase-2 and stop migration of many people from the district by concentrating on agriculture and irrigation sectors.