M.L.A. Prabhakar – Ranimundry Constituency

Mr. Prabhakar, a 35 year old person was working as maintenance senior engineer in the fertilizer factory. One day in 2008, he saw the news item regarding the preparations of Indian People Party for assembly elections of the state. He had studied political news from his six class onwards. He was fascinated by the achievements of national leaders. He also came across many criticisms of political leaders and their actions by opposition politicians. A thought came to him regarding contesting in the elections. Even though he did not contest elections himself, he had taken active interest in student elections in school and college. He is working in a private company and hence he can take leave and contest for the election. The risk is less as he can continue with his job subsequent to the election. He helped the candidates of Indian People Party in the earlier elections and hence he was confident of getting their advice regarding his candidature.

He went and met the M.P. candidate in the earlier election, Mr. Venkateswara Rao. Venkateswara Rao is a local lawyer and was a member of the party for a long time. He polled around 18,000 votes in the last parliamentary election and from the Ranimundry assembly constituency he polled 4,300 votes. Venkateswara Rao encouraged Prabhakar to join the party and try seeking a ticket from the constituency. Prabhakar then met his Union Secretary of the factory sought his opinion. He got the assurance of support from the union secretary. He then wrote to the former president and secretary of his alma mater when he was in final year. They are working in other towns. He got favourable responses from them regarding his idea. He then went and met the current president and secretary of his alma mater seeking their support in his proposed endeavour. He showed them the letters from the former president and secretary of his time. The current president and secretary showed happiness that one of their alumni was trying to take up a leadership role in the political system of the constituency and the state. Prabhakar met the faculty of his department and sought their blessings. He was warned by them of the various difficulties and challenges of the election. That made him think about the consequences of his adventure. He discussed the issue with his family members.

He met the town president of the Indian People Party along with Venkateshwara Rao and joined the party as an official member. Subsequently, he went around and informed his many friends and acquaintances and got twenty five members enrolled as party members getting the active party member status in the party. Prabhakar is an idealist and he is doing things presently with a mission to do good to the society. He is a good public speaker and writer and he had participated in number of competitions in his school and college days. The ideal situations that he portrayed in his speeches and essays are pushing him now to do things in practice.

He started going every day to the houses of two members of the party. On Saturday and Sunday, when he had holidays, he was visiting ten houses of party members and friends.At each house,  he was making a point of meeting all the family members and he was making a mental note. At the end of the day, he used to write the particulars of families in diary and used to post a letter thanking them for the hospitality extended to his on his visit. In three months time, he was able to meet 500 persons. In some of the visits, Venkateswara Rao also joined him. Simultaneously he requested his brother and sister also to visit the houses of their friends and inform them the possibility of his contesting the assembly elections. He sent letters to the five local papers every month regarding various civic issues.

In the next three months, Prabhakar focused on his company employees. His fertilizer company is employing 5000 people. He met another 500 families in the next three months. In these visits he made it a point to request and take along with him an active member of the Indian People Party of the area along with him. This daily contact activity by Prabhakar started creating an interest in the party machinery. They were surprised at the daily routine of the Prabhakar and his keeping track of the news related to the party in a bill board that he maintained in front of his house. Prabhakar invited people of the town to write to him through email. His email id was there in his bill board and also in his letters to the editor in local dailies. He started receiving emails with some suggestions and complaints and he used to forward them appropriately and inform the the person sending the email that he forwarded the mail to his party leaders in the town, district or state and and to appropriate municipal and state authorities.

In 2009, The elections came near and there was a search for candidates in the Indian People Party. Till that time, Indian People Party was only a contestant for the sake of contesting. But still there was a good competition to contest the elections. Some party members told Prabhakar to try for the seat. Through Venkateshwara Rao, Prabhakar sent his intention to contest the election. After hectic lobbying from many interested candidates, Prabhakar was given the go ahead to be the candidate for the party. The constituency has 200 polling booths and Prabhakar requested his college student council to help in creating youth booth committees. There are six engineering colleges in the constituency with 2500 students. The student council came out with a list of 600 students from engineering colleges as well as other colleges spread across all the booths with 3 students for booth. The IPP allocated two of its members for each booth. His company union provided two of its members for each booth. This systematic planning of booth committees and meetings of the booth committees had increased the morale of the party members. When party members wanted to know the preparations of the constituency for the election, they were shown the booth committee formation. The alumni association of the college appealed for funds to support Prabhakar and sizeable amount flowed in. The party observers were happy to know that for the first time, such a fund was collected by a candidate. His company employees also contributed fund to his campaign. His company management also made a token contribution to show support to their employee.

This advance preparation by Prabhakar and the support extended to him by his alumni and colleagues made the party bosses bold to approach various businessmen and rich persons who normally donate to political parties in every election. The activity created by Prabhakar is noticeable in the town. Local papers as well as State level papers are describing the increased activity by the IPP candidate. The candidates of the big party parties have their vote banks and their volunteers are discouraging the persons working for Prabhakar. But the students and company employees are doing their campaign with a personal support for their colleague or alumni and in the hope that he will be a more accessible and committed politician. They hope that he can make some minor difference in the political system of the state and their constituency even though they are aware that one man cannot do much. He will be anyway in opposition.

People started seeing more flags, more banners of IPP in the election. They were getting phamplets in their houses requesting them to vote for IPP. Each house was contacted by booth committee members to vote in favour of IPP. They all got voter identity slips from IPP. Because of the union members, the working house localities also got good coverage on behalf of IPP this time. During elections, Prabhakar’s visits to various families earlier gave a benefit. Wives of IPP party members took more active interest to tell their friends about friendly ways of Prabhakar. The parents of party members also got involved on behalf of Prabhakar. The children identified with Prabhakar.  The Party State President was impressed with reports about the constituency and visited the constituency and addressed a meeting. He exhorted all the party members to do their best to get maximum number of votes for the party.

The election was held. The result was a surprise to many. Prabhakar won the election with 32,678 votes. The contest had three other serious contenders. They got 28,564;  22,391; and 19,255. Now Prabhakar is an MLA.

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