Nellore is sizzling with 46-47ºC and the political heat is reaching the boiling point.
This Parliamentary constituency that stood with the Congress will see a different ballgame this time. If the YSRC fight with Congress comes to a flashpoint before the poll, it will set Penna river on fire.The Congress MP from Nellore M Rajamohan Reddy’s quitting in support of the YSRC leader Jagan Mohan Reddy has created the vacancy in this southern parliamentary seat.
All the hard work by the TDP and the preparatory grounds laid by the Congress are under threat of being washed away in the possible ‘sympathy wave’ the YSR party might garner in the aftermath of cases, raids and arrest-threat of the rebel, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
The greatest fear of the Congress and the TDP is that in the event of Jagan’s incarceration the rein will be taken over by the Queen Bee, Vijayalakshmi, widow of YSR. “She will not able to control the party in an effective way for long but she can surely generate a lot of sobs, which often plays a pivotal role in Indian elections,” remarked Ch Vidyasagar Rao, senior BJP leader.
But the TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu can’t understand how a sympathy wave is generated for a “corrupt personality” (Jagan). But, he reasoned, the fight against corruption will have to be invariably a fight against the Congress and it is unfair blaming YSR or Jagan alone.
“What were they (Congress) doing all these months?” he asked in anger and chagrin about the swift closing in on Jagan now. Naidu’s aide whispers that the boss is clearly worried at the possible sympathy votes Jagan party will reap now.“The problem with sentimental vote,” he dropped his voice, “is that reason takes a back seat.” Nobody said a truer word, one agrees.But the TDP candidate Vanteru Venugopala Reddy, who lost in 2009, tries to point out the bright side to his boss.
“The vote-split between the YSR Congress and the ruling Congress will save us. A new voting pattern will emerge this time where I stand more chances than the other candidates,” Reddy smiles.
The TDP camp’s positive equation is that the 5 lakh plus votes will be split between the Congress and the YSRC. The benefit of a split vote is always to the third player, he reasoned. Reddy had got 3.75 lakh votes in 2009 as against 4.25 lakh votes polled by Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy (then in ruling Congress) and 1.38 lakh votes polled by Jana Ramachandraiah Goud of the erstwhile Praja Rajyam.In the nearby war-camp the Congress is gearing up to dazzle the sympathy with glamour. The Congress asks TDP not to live in a fool’s paradise because the split in vote will be made up by the PRP votes.
Meanwhile, the celluloid king Chiranjeevi’s fan clubs are working in favour of the Congress. Assuming a sparring motion, the Congress MLA Anam Vivekananda Reddy says, “We will expose the true colours of Jagan Mohan Reddy to the people. We would like to explain the welfare programmes being implemented by the State government effectively to the electorate.”Well, good luck to you, is what all an observer can say to Reddy.
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PK Surendran is senior editor at Postnoon.
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