Why KCR chose Kamareddy this time?


KCR’s decision to contest in another constituency, Kamareddy, in the upcoming Assembly elections has raised doubts about his invincibility in Gajwel. Opposition parties accuse KCR of seeking a “safe seat” in Kamareddy, suggesting that he may not be entirely confident of winning in Gajwel. This reflects a shifting political climate against the Bharata Rashtra Samithi (BRS) across all 119 constituencies in the state, which are scheduled to hold elections on November 30.
The competition in Kamareddy may turn out to be more challenging than both KCR and the BRS had initially anticipated, especially with the recent announcement of Congress chief Revanth Reddy as a candidate there. In Gajwel, KCR faces a formidable opponent in his former friend-turned-foe, Eatala Rajender of the BJP, who is determined to defeat KCR in his stronghold. A loss in either of these seats, or worse, in both, would be a significant setback for KCR.
Significantly, neither Gajwel nor Kamareddy are the home constituencies of Rajender and Revanth Reddy. Both candidates are driven by personal rivalries with KCR and are competing directly with him. Rajender will also run in his traditional seat of Huzurabad, where he is the incumbent, while Revanth will contest the Kodangal assembly segment, a position he has held since 2009.
Prior to 2004, KCR’s constituency was Siddipet, which he represented for nearly two decades. Between 2004 and 2014, he served as a Member of Parliament (MP). In 2014, he secured a victory in Gajwel, capitalizing on the Telangana sentiment and defeating the Telugu Desam Party (TDP)’s Pratap Reddy Vanteru by 19,391 votes.
In the 2018 assembly elections, KCR faced Pratap Reddy again, who had switched to the Congress party. KCR won with a substantial majority of around 58,000 votes.
After losing in 2018, Pratap Reddy joined the BRS and assumed the role of chairman of the Telangana Forest Development Corporation.
Even without a strong candidate like Pratap Reddy in the fray, Gajwel may not be an easy victory for KCR due to the challenge from Rajender, who had previously defeated the BRS in Huzurabad in 2021. Rajender is a prominent figure in Telangana politics with connections across the state, and his candidacy has gained support from various groups opposed to KCR and the BRS.
Etela Rajender’s appeal to the Mudiraj community, classified as Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the state, may work to his advantage. This community has felt neglected by the BRS, which did not field any Mudiraj candidates in the 119 assembly segments. The Mudiraj community constitutes approximately 12% of the state’s population and wields influence in Gajwel. They have pledged their support to Rajender.
Although the Congress has nominated a candidate in Gajwel and the BJP in Kamareddy, there are speculations of an implicit understanding between both parties to prevent the anti-KCR vote from splitting in these constituencies.