Hindupur assembly seat in Anantapuram has always been the YSRCP’s Achilles’ Heel. The party tried every trick of the trade, but could not win. In fact, this seat was represented initially by NTR and later by Nandamuri Balakrishna. But, since at least 2004, one of the main reasons for the TDP victory is the infighting in the Congress first and the YSRCP later.
In 2004, Congress candidate Navin Nischal gave a tough fight. In 2009, the Congress did not give him the ticket. So, he became a rebel and fought as an independent. Navin Nishcal stood second and the Congress third. In the later developments, Navin joined the YSRCP and contested in 2014. He was unlucky again as he was pitted against Balakrishna. In the 2019 elections, the YSRCP gave the ticket to Iqbal. Though Navin did not oppose it openly, he ensured that the YSRCP did not win. So, NBK had won again.
The YSRCP in Hindupur is divided into three factions – former MLA Abdul Ghani faction, Navin faction and Iqbal faction. After the 2019 elections, YS Jagan made Iqbal, who was defeated in 2019, as an MLC. Navin began sulking and kept aloof from party activities. It is clear that the YSRCP can win from Hindupur only when the Navin and Iqbal factions come together. Otherwise, the anti-TDP votes get divided and NBK will scrape through.
Now with the 2024 elections in mind, Jagan has given a corporation chairperson’s post to Navin Nischal. Now that Iqbal is an MLC, it is likely that only Navin will be in the fray. Will all the three factions come together and fight the election unitedly? Will both Ghani and Iqbal work for Navin, who betrayed them in 2014? The politics are heating up in Hindupur already as there is a likelihood of Lokesh Babu becoming TDP candidate in the event of NBK opting out.