Thursday, 5 May 2011

Kadapa Lok Sabha by-election: Congress dumps YSR in campaing material

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, May 3: The photographs and cutouts of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and
party general secretary Rahul Gandhi dominate the Congress electioneering in Kadapa Lok
Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies, which go to by-polls on May 8.

Only two in 10 campaign material published by the Congress carry the photograph of former
chief minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy. Photographs of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, APCC
president D Srinivas, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and contesting candidates YS
Vivekananda Reddy (Pulivendula) and Dr DL Ravindra Reddy (Kadapa) figured in all the
campaign material including banners, placards and hoardings. The photographs of YSR
appeared only in some badges and banners.

Even most of the newspaper advertisements issued by local Congress leaders hailing the
visit of Kiran Kumar Reddy to Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency did not feature the
photograph of YSR. Much to the chagrin of YSR’s admirers, the photographs of ministers,
who are deputed for campaign based on their caste and social background, were published
prominently in newspaper advertisements and campaign banners.

Only in Pulivendula, where YSR’s admirers are apparently in large numbers, the Congress
leadership printed YSR’s photograph on tri-colour scarves, badges and buntings. Portraits
of new and young leaders also appeared in the campaign material in a bid to give a
political snub to YS Jaganmohan Reddy.

At the three public meetings Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy addressed, loud speakers
blared songs highlighting the welfare schemes launched by YSR, though without naming him.
The songs were tuned in such a way to project Kiran Kumar Reddy as the real brain behind
the welfare projects like waiver of bank loans etc. There were also songs eulogizing the
Congress candidates, and rarely on YSR, except the one referring to Vivekananda Reddy as
the inheritor of political of Rajasekhar Reddy.

On the other hand, the campaign material of Jaganmohan Reddy (Kadapa) and his mother
Vijayalakshmi (Pulivendula) centered on the portraits of Rajasekhar Reddy. Jaganmohan
Reddy has been seeking votes as the real heir of YSR and to confuse the voter, the
Congress too took up similar campaign projecting Vivekananda as the only leader in YSR’s
family who could complete the late leader’s unfinished vision.

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