Hyderabad: The new-born YSR Congress Party struck a humiliating blow to the 125-year old ruling Congress in the State by winning both Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly seats with an unprecedented and whopping majority in the by-elections.
Though the victory of Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and his mother Vijayalaxmi, who contested as YSR Congress candidates in Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies respectively, was on predictable lines, the landslide majority they secured over their nearest Congress and TDP nominees turned out to be mind boggling and taken even eminent political pundits by surprise.
When last reports came from the counting centers, Jagan defeated his nearest opponent Health Minister and Congress nominee D.L. Ravindra Reddy by a margin of over five-lakh votes. The TDP candidate, Mr M. V. Mysoora Reddy, who is also the party’s Rajya Sabha member, trailed at the third place among the 42 candidates in the fray in the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency.
Even in the Pulivendula Assembly constituency which witnessed virtually a family war, the YSR Congress nominee Vijayalaxmi, the wife of late YSR and mother of Jagan, gave a severe drubbing to her brother-in-law Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy, the Congress candidate by capturing the seat with a margin of over 85,000 votes. Here too, the TDP candidate B.Tech Ravi was placed at the third place among the 25 contestants.
As a matter of fact, Mr Jagan and Ms Vijayalaxmi have recaptured their respective seats which they had earlier won on Congress tickets and later resigned after differences cropped up with AICC president, Ms Sonia Gandhi. What is interesting is that both Jagan and his mother have shattered the margins set up in the past by the late Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy.
It is also pertinent to note here that Jagan juggernaut is speeding towards setting up a national record of sorts. As of today, Anil Bose of CPM in West Bengal had created a national record by a victory margin of 5.92 lakh votes in the 2004 elections. The late P. V. Narsimha Rao had secured a margin of 5.70 lakh votes earlier. Even the late Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy secured a majority of 4.20 lakh votes in the 1991 elections. And now when last reports came, the victory margin of Jagan stood at 5.22-lakh votes with the counting still in progress in some segments.
What more, the TDP candidates — Mysoora Reddy in Kadapa and B.Tech Ravi in Pulivendula constituencies — could not withstand the speeding Jagan tornado so much so that both failed to save even their deposits. Even the Congress nominee D. L. Ravindra Reddy had to lose his deposit in Kadapa though Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy in Pulivendula managed to save the deposit by the skin of his teeth.
The people of Kadapa district by ensuring the victory of both Jagan and his mother Vijayalaxmi with thumping majorities have sent a clear message that Kadapa continues to remain the impregnable bastion of late YSR family. The electorate apart from sounding the death knell for the ruling Congress in the State have also reminded the AICC leadership in Delhi that YSR Congress and its leader Jagan are a force to be reckoned with in the State.
The impressive victory of YSR Congress is also likely to drastically change the political scenario in the State what with new re-alignments and polarisations taking shape in the coming months. The big question that is now making rounds in political circles is whether the Congress legislators, who were earlier loyal to late YSR, sitting on the fence till now, jump out the sinking ruling party boat to join the Jagan bandwagon. The coming days will unfold the impending political drama in the State. (NSS)