Battlefield hots up as TDP, YSRC go all out to win by-poll
By Express News Service | Published: 04th August 2017 10:44 AM |
VIJAYAWADA: Nandyal’s electoral battlefield is hotting up. With hardly 20 days left for polling for the by-election to the Assembly seat, the decibel levels of campaigning by both the TDP and the YSRC have gone up.
As the by-election is considered to be the bellwether for the 2019 elections, neither party is prepared to lose even an inch of the political space to the other.
Setting the stage for the high-voltage electoral battle, YSRC chief Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy kick-started the electioneering with his combative and high octane public meeting in the constituency where he called Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to account for his omissions and commissions.
He attacked Naidu for engineering defections in his party and wanted to know how Naidu, who purchased the MLAs, should be called. “If one does not speak a lie, he is called Satya Harichandra and if one does not utter a truth, then he should be called Chandrababu Naidu,” Jagan said.
Surprisingly, the meeting was well attended and Jagan Mohan Reddy’s speech was well received.
The Telugu Desam Party too is not lagging behind in slamming the YSRC. TDP is painting Jagan as the “new incarnation of corruption”. Leading the TDP legions are Tourism Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya, Panchayat Raj Minister Nara Lokesh and a host of ministers who have been camping in Nadyal, trying to bring pro-Jagan voters to their way with promises of a number allurements which include sanction of loans for provision of tractors to farmers, a number of goodies and freebies for the voters of minorities and various other castes.
The campaign is generating immense heat in the wake of TDP MLC Silpa Chakrapani Reddy crossing over to the YSRC to lend support to his brother and YSRC nominee for the Nandyal seat. Silpa Mohan Reddy joined the J-camp after he was denied the TDP ticket for the by-election. At the public meeting where Jagan Mohan Reddy delivered a high-octane speech on Thursday evening, Silpa Chakrapani Reddy announced that he is resigning from the Legislative Council.The announcement is being seen as a shrewd move to provide the YSRC leaders enough ammunition to fire the TDP as none of the 21 YSR legislators who joined the TDP over a period of time has resigned from the Legislative Assembly.
Already, the YSRC has upped the ante against the TDP asking it to explain how it could keep YSRC MLAs and promote some of them as ministers too without first making them resign.
Chandrababu Naidu, however, is not attaching much importance to the exit of Chakrapani Reddy from the party. At the party coordination meeting earlier in the day at the Secretariat at Velagapudi, Naidu is reported to have asked his ministers not to bother too much about those who left the party and asked them to concentrate on what should be done. He directed them that at least three MLAs from each district should be deployed in Nandyal for effective campaigning and implementation of poll strategies. He wanted the party leaders to concentrate more on winning the hearts of the Vysyas and Muslims who could make or mar an election in Nandyal.
Pawan, Kapu factors
Meanwhile, Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan, who said he would make clear his stand on whether he would campaign in Nandyal or not, is yet to come out with his plans. According to sources close to him, Pawan Kalyan might not take up any campaigning since it might strengthen the suspicion that the power star has been Naidu’s man since the beginning, his public posturing to the contrary notwithstanding.
Though there has been speculation that Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham too would campaign in Nandyal against Chandrababu Naidu, the Joint Action Committee leaders of the Kapu movement say that their leader was not interested in campaigning in Nandyal. According to sources, if Padmanbaham campaigns, he would stand exposed as the Kapu face of the YSR Congress party which he had been denying all along.