Breaking her silence five days after Congress leaders held a book releasing function on late Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s padayatra, YSR Congress honorary president Y S Vijayamma on Wednesday wondered what the ruling party had in mind in praising him three years after he died under suspicious circumstances, while ignoring him all this while.
Addressing a massive public meeting at Pamarru in Krishna district where leaders from the Congress, the Telugu Desam and the BJP joined the YSRC this evening, she said the book releasing function was nothing but a drama being enacted by the Congress leadership. “They did not even have the courtesy to invite Dr Rajasekhara Reddy’s family members and want to own his legacy by conducting such programmes. The condolence meeting in the Assembly was held three months after his death,” she said without mincing words.
The Congress never bothered to implement the welfare schemes launched by Dr Rajasekhara Reddy in their original form, she said and wanted the Ministers in state Cabinet to recall how they were treated and protected by the former Chief Minister when he was alive and how they were reciprocating his gestures now.
“No one protested when his name was included in the charge-sheet filed by the CBI. Can you dare to look into his eyes if he returns today?” she asked them.
“Dr Rajasekhara Reddy is not amidst us physically, but he lives in our hearts. He never imposed taxes on people for five years. Some sections did not support the Congress but still he took care of them. There is a need to bring his golden rule, as people are subjected to all kinds of sufferings under the present regime,” she said drawing lusty cheers from the people.
She also did not spare the TDP saying it had lost the moral right to claim itself as the main Opposition as it failed to fight for the people. Its leaders even indulged in misleading people, with the help of a section of media that YSRC would merge with the Congress in the future.
The programme at Pamarru is second such public meeting, the first one was held at Medchal in Ranga Reddy district where scores of leaders along with their followers joined the party recently.
Encouraged by the good response to her meetings, the party leaders are planning to organise a tour of Adilabad district by Vijayamma where several tribal hamlets are in the grip of viral fevers and the officials have not taken steps to mitigate the victims’ problems.
Vijayamma is likely to visit these villages and interact with the locals to know their problems, either around the monsoon session of the Assembly session beginning from Monday or later.
Besides, public meetings would be held at Bobbili and Mantralayam , where local MLAs Sujaya Krishna Venkata Ranga Rao and Y Balanagi Reddy will be formally admitted along with their activists in the next few days.
More than any other party, it is the Telugu Desam which will be hard hit in Krishna district as Gudivada MLA Kodali Sri Venkateswara Rao alias Nani, party’s Politburo member and prominent Dalit leader from Pamarru Uppuleti Kalpana, several ZPTC and MPTC members, senior Congress leader and former Zilla Parishad chairman Kukkala Nageswara Rao from Movva and his supporters and industrialist Vaka Vasudeva Rao from Pedana Assembly constituency were admitted into YSRC at a mammoth function.
The late N T Rama Rao’s native Nimmakuru is part of Gudivada Assembly constituency and has been a stronghold of Telugu Desam ever since the party came into existence three decades ago. However, with the exit of two-time MLA Kodali Nani and his cadre, the party will find it difficult to choose a replacement in the immediate future.
Though popular film star Nanadamuri Balakrishna tried his best to save the party from becoming extinct in Gudivada by ensuring that former MLA Ravi Shobaneedri’s kin Venkateswara Rao rejoined the party, serious doubts are being expressed in the political circles about its strength in the Constituency.
Reports even said that Balalrishna was considered to be the party’s candidate from Gudivada in the next elections but wiser counsel prevailed and he decided against taking the plunge, at least for now.
If Balakrishna loses, it would be another biggest setback to the party like in 1989 when his father N T Rama Rao suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of an unknown Congress nominee J Chittaranjan Das in Kalwakurthy then. However, Rama Rao won from Hindupur Assembly seat.
Further, there is no guarantee that the electorate would support popular leaders in their ancestral places as even film star Chiranjeevi lost from his native Palacole Assembly constituency in the 2009 elections but luckily won from the temple town of Tirupati, the second constituency from where he contested.
Kalpana, though contested as TDP nominee from Nidumolu Assembly constituency in 2004 and lost to CPM nominee Paturu Ramaiah by around 3,200 votes and also from Pamarru constituency and lost to Congress candidate D Y Das by around 7,000 votes, has cultivated the party in both places in the last nine years.
The TDP is now worried at the prospect of losing the support of the electorate of two powerful communities, Kamma and SCs, while the decision of Kukkala Nageswara Rao, a prominent BC leader, to join YSRC will adversely affect the ruling party in the district.
Even real estate businessman Vasudeva Rao has been actively participating in several social activities in Pedana Assembly segment for several years and is expected to be the YSRC candidate in the next elections.