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From trade union to politics



Palla Simhachalam

Palla Simhachalam's selection for the Visakha-II segment raised many eyebrows within the TDP, since he was in and out of the active party work ever since he was denied the ticket last time. His selection this time impelled the urban district unit president, Bharanikana Rama Rao, to resign and contest election to the Lok Sabha seat independently. But Simhachalam says, "I have been a trade union leader for almost three decades and I come from the masses, such things are not uncommon to me. The coming election will be a cakewalk for me, as people regard me as a performer. Otherwise, why would the party choose me over others?"

He hails from Gajuwaka and was an employee of Hindustan Shipyard Limited. He started his trade union career as an INTUC activist and later switched over to Telugu Nadu Trade Union Council with the launch of TDP. Though he contested election for becoming an MLA a couple of times, he was successful only in 1994 on the TDP ticket from the same constituency.

On his campaigning, he says, "I do not sell dreams. I believe in modest and pragmatic approach and the years of experience as trade unionist helps me to understand the problems of the downtrodden and the common man better."

Pucca houses for slum dwellers, streamlining municipal administration and employment for the youth are some the promises that he makes to his people on the campaign trail.

The major problem that Palla might be facing is from his own Yadava community, as the Independent candidate, Palla Vittal Kumar and the rebel Lok Sabha candidate, Bharanikana Rama Rao, belong to the same community and they are poised to take a chunk of the pie. But Simhachalam negates the factor by saying, "They are all individually up against me, the party will not be affected. The party is more powerful than individuals."

He is pitted against Ranga Raju of Congress.

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