By K Nageswara Rao Kuppam (Andhra Pradesh), May 1 UNI | 3 months ago

The Shantipuram mandal, 15 kms from Kauppam town is flooded with drip irrigation equipment and activity related to modern agricultural operations such as green houses barring few grey areas.

The transformation of Kuppam began when TDP Chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu was Chief Minister in Andhra Pradesh with the Israeli know how a country he worshipped for its ingenuity in improvising out of necessity.

The project was aimed at using scarce water to maximize farm productivity but it lost its steam after Naidu lost power to Congress and the Congress using the project to mock Naidu for his alleged day dreaming.

'We get upto 70 per cent subsidy for micro irrigation equipment. Initially many farmers shifted to drip, but lack of water made many of us quit the new model. Now few farmers are using the drip pipes for cultivating vegetables like cabbage and they are doing well,' says one of the farmers.

The Shantipuram area has been using rain harvesting methods to slow down surface run off by building bunds and growing herbs on the edges to stop erosion.

The Kuppam town has a medical college, few engineering colleges, Davidian University and above all Bangalore at close proximity.

The 64-year-old Naidu a son of the soil, who won the Kuppam Assembly segment for five times in row since 1989, and once in Chandragiri winning is not problem.

He is so confident of his work that he has sent his son Lokesh to file nomination papers for him.Lokesh after filing the papers for his father wanted the people to bring back his father to power so that he could bring back the derailed state economy and off course Kuppam back on track.

Even though Naidu joined active politics in 1978 , it was in 1983 he joined the TDP and became Chairman of Karshaka Parishat, a post created by his father in law late NT Rama Rao, equivalent to cabinet post.

Though seven candidates including two independents, contesting from Kuppam assembly seat, the main fight was between TDP and YSRCP.

The other candidates from Kuppam assembly seat are K Srinivasulu (Cong), K Chandramouli (YSRCP), RVM Nirmala (Jai Samaikyandhra Party), K A Manjunath kumar (Rayalaseema Parirakashana Samithi) and independents- D V Chandra Sekhar Ind), G V Ravi Kumar (Ind).

Naidu's three times opponent M Subrahmanya Reddy of Congress who joined YSRC is acting as coordinator and a new face V Chandramouli a 1984 batch IAS officer contesting against him for the first time.

Jagan's sister Sharmila has campaigned for him here few days back and he hopes that sympathy towards YSRC family will bring victory.

But the average vote share between these Naidu and Subramaniam Reddy in the three elections has been 60:20 favouring Naidu.

In 2009, the Praja Rajyam Candidate Rajendra Babu lost his deposit against Naidu.

Kuppam comes under the Chittor Parliament segment, represented by Dr N Siva Prasad of TDP.

Sivaprasad was polled 44700 votes more than his rival in 2009 LS elections.

In another words Kuppam and neighboring Palamaneru segments play an important role in securing victory for TDP in Chittor.

(Posted on 01-05-2014)