Hyderabad: The (Sonia) Congress has bigger stakes than the (Lilliputian) YSR Congress in the ensuing by-elections to Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies as the ruling party’s prestige and credibility would be put to test in what is considered as a mother of all poll battle.
Realizing that it was going to be do or die battle for it rather than the newly floated party, the ruling Congress in an unprecedented move has pressed into service a battalion of ministers besides the MPs and MLAs along with the local leaders in the seven Assembly segments of the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency to work for the success of its two nominees.
Besides the massive deployment of ministerial campaigners, the Chief Minister Mr. N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, the APCC President Mr. D. Srinivas, the former Chief Minister Mr. K. Rosaiah and the PRP President Mr. Chiranjeevi are also being drafted for the electioneering duties. What is interesting is that the Congress leadership, both at the State and Central level, thought it fit for such deployment of big wigs to work for two ministers — D. L. Ravindra Reddy in Kadapa and Y. S. Vivekanada Reddy in Pulivendula — contesting against Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and Vijayalxmi respectively, who were till recently members of the ruling party.
The very fact that the Congress was forced to leave no stone unturned in formulating such a massive election campaign for its nominees amply proves that the mother and son duo of the rival YSR Congress cannot be taken for granted as it would be a Herculean task to take them in their own domain in the district.
Though there would a triangular contest between the Congress, YSR Congress and the Telugu Desam in the Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies, it is a foregone conclusion that the fight is mainly between the Congress and the YSR Congress though Telugu Desam is proclaiming that its presence in the battle royal cannot be brushed aside.
The count down for the poll battle has commenced today with the Election Commission issuing the poll notification with April 11 to 18 being the dates for filing nominations, the scrutiny would be on the next day and April 21 as the last date for withdrawals. The polling will take place on May 8 and the counting of votes on May 13.
Meanwhile the war of words has been triggered off mainly between the Congress and the YSR Congress, with the former launching a slanderous campaign against Jagan accusing him of amassing wealth by misdeeds and misusing his late father’s influence and political clout while at the same time trying to proclaim unstinted respect and warmth for the late Chief Minister YSR. The leaders of the YSR Congress at the same time launched a counter attack holding Sonia Gandhi responsible for unleashing a malicious campaign against YSR’s kith and kin.
While the Congress and YSR Congress parties have busy in electioneering, the Telugu Desam is yet to begin its campaign as it is now busy in trying to sort out the internal bickering in the party amidst the raging cold war between the Nandamuri and Nara clans. (NSS).