Hyderabad: Nearly 13.50 lakh electorate in the Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies would decide the political fate of the ruling Congress, YSR Congress Party and TDP in the near future when polling takes place on Sunday morning in one of the most bitter and fierce by-elections held in the State so far.
Amidst unprecedented security arrangements involving 15,000 police and paramilitary forces, polling will take place from 7 am to 5 pm in both the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies. The representatives of the Election Commission would be closely monitoring the voting process through electronic surveillance systems.
The Election Commission, the District administration and the police authorities have assured that they would take stern action and prevent rival contestants in indulging rigging or adopting coercive tactics to influence the voters and thus the people in the district are hoping against hope that the polling would take place in a fair and peaceful manner.
While it is going to be do-or-die battle for the Health Minister, Mr D. L. Ravindra Reddy, the Congress candidate in the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, who is being challenged by the former MP and YSR Congress candidate, Mr Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, for whom it would be a now or never political battle. The TDP has fielded the former Home Minister and Rajya Sabha member, Dr M. V. Mysoora Reddy, who is trying to cash in on the split in the ruling Congress after the late YSR’s son quit the party to launch his own party.
In the Pulivendula Assembly constituency, which is one of the seven Assembly segments of the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, it has literally become a family war as the Congress nominee, Mr Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy is pitted against his own sister-in-law, Ms Vijayalaxmi, of the YSR Congress and B. Tech Ravi of the TDP.
It is pertinent to note here that late chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy nurtured and developed Kadapa district during his regime. Affectionately and popularly known as Kadapa Tiger, the late YSR was undoubtedly the then regaining king of the district which was his impregnable fortress.
Thus, after the sudden and tragic demise of YSR, the battle for taking over his political legacy erupted within the family with Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy proclaiming himself as the legal political heir of his late father. After differences cropped up between Mr Jagan and the AICC leadership, all the Congress leaders, who indulged in Jagan bhajan when YSR was alive, suddenly turned his adversaries. And the AICC leadership played its own Machiavellian political game to checkmate the rebellious Jagan and succeeded in bringing a rift in the YSR family.
The late chief minister’s younger brother, Mr Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy, seems to have fallen into this political conspiracy and proclaimed himself as the “true” political heir of late YSR soon after he was inducted in the State cabinet. And to rub salt to the wounds, he even declared his candidature from Pulivendula to fight against his own sister-in-law.
The skirmishes within the YSR family, undoubtedly incensed by the party leadership, over the issue of who should hold the mantle of YSR’s political legacy has turned into a bitter and fierce no-holds-barred battle during the by-elections campaign.
Therefore, the by-elections gained nation-wide attention unlike in the past as all as the three major parties in the fray have big stakes and their future hinges on the outcome. Will the Congress survive the challenge thrown by YSR Congress and re-establish its political supremacy or meet its waterloo? Will the YSR Congress Party emerge as force to reckon with and thus sound the death knell for the ruling party? Will the Telugu Desam succeed in exploiting the split in the Congress to its advantage and retain its image in the district? These are the questions that are being debated in political circles on the eve of polling.
The answers to these questions would be known only on May 13 when the counting of votes polled on Sunday would be taken up. However, some analysts have already predicted a victory for YSR Congress and that all attention was only on the margin of victory. (NSS)