YSR’s son hits the campaign trail for civic polls

Hyderabad, Nov 20 (Inditop.com) In his first attempt to prove that he is a crowd puller, the late Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s son and Congress MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy Friday drew good response when he campaigned for the party’s candidates in Greater Hyderabad municipal elections.

Though not invited by the party leadership to campaign, the Kadapa MP set out on a special campaign vehicle addressing rallies at different places but avoiding assembly constituencies represented by his father’s detractors.

Responding to the appeals of some party legislators, the 37-year-old Jagan hit the road, urging people to pay their true respects to his late father by casting their votes for the Congress.

Jagan, as he is popularly known, launched the campaign with the blessings of his mother, garlanded statues of leaders like Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, B.R. Amebdkar and Babu Jagjivan Ram in the city and offered prayers at a temple and a dargah.

This was his first poll campaign after the death of YSR in a helicopter crash on Sep 2.

Stepping into his father’s shoes, Jagan launched the campaign from Maheswaram, the assembly constituency of Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy. YSR, as Rajasekhara Reddy was known, used to launch poll campaign and all government schemes from the constituency of Sabita Indra Reddy, whom he called his younger sister.

State Congress president D. Srinivas said Jagan had not sought the party’s permission to campaign but like others he was free to do so. The leadership had ignored demands from Jagan’s camp that he be involved in the campaigning.

Jagan, whose claim for the chief minister’s post was already ignored by the party’s central leadership, decided to campaign in a majority of the 24 assembly constituencies that come under the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).

Making an impressive beginning, Jagan attracted huge crowds wherever he conducted the road shows. Those who wanted to see YSR in Jagan were not disappointed as his speech and mannerism reminded them of the late leader.

Recalling the pro-poor schemes launched by YSR, Jagan attacked leader of opposition Chandrababu Naidu for his pro-rich policies during the Telugu Desam Party rule.

“A leader should have credibility. Naidu has no credibility as he backstabbed his father-in-law (N.T. Rama Rao) to come to power and went back on all the promises while YSR was another name for credibility,” said Jagan.

The campaign is being seen as Jagan’s attempt to prove before the leadership that he is a crowd puller even outside his Kadapa district. Some also see this as oblique challenge to the leadership as the young MP has already stated that he would become the chief minister in future.

Elections to the 150-member GHMC will be held Nov 23, the first test of strength for Congress party after the death of YSR.