VIJAYAWADA: The importance being given to the battle royale for the Tirupati Lok Sabha seat, for which the byelection is round the corner, can be understood from the fact that almost all the major contenders are using the services of close to 500 of their respective top and second-rung leaders for campaigning purposes.
The atmosphere is almost similar to the one witnessed during the 2017 Nandyal Assembly byelection when Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy, then the Leader of Opposition, camped in Nandyal for a week. Similarly, TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu is camping in Tirupati.
Treating the byelection as a referendum on its administration, the YSRC government has pressed ministers, legislators and leaders into action. Not to be left behind, TD has deployed 200 leaders and has mooted a volunteer system to attract voters towards their party.
TTD chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy and ministers Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy and Narayana Swamy and other leaders took care of gram panchayat, municipal and corporation elections and provided landslide victories.
Jagan Mohan Reddy hoping for an overwhelming win has assigned ministers Perni Venkataramaiah alias Nani, P. Anil Kumar, Audimulapu Suresh, Mekapati Gautam Reddy, Kurasala Kannababu, Kodali Venkateswara Rao (Nani) and Balineni Srinivas Reddy to the seven Assembly segments of Tirupati Lok Sabha constituency. They have been coordinating with local MLAs and other leaders to ensure a massive for the party nominee Dr. Gurumoorthy.
The TD has deployed 200 leaders for campaigning, including Naidu, Nara Lokesh, K. Atchannaidu and others, who are highlighting government failures. BJP, hoping to do a Dubbak, has roped in big guns, besides Jana Sena chief K. Pawan Kalyan. However, in what comes a major blow to their calculations, the actor-politician is in quarantine and there are hardly any days left for campaigning.
Meanwhile, leaders from Congress, Communist and other parties are also camping in Tirupati while the entire State is keenly awaiting the verdict at Tirupati.
Political analysts said that TD is following the volunteers system by appointing in-charges for every 50 families and highlighting about YSRC’s corruption, failures and illegalities so that they would vote for their candidate Panabaka Lakshmi. They pointed out that TD has changed its strategy and is accusing the YSRC government of failure in the probe of Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy’s murder and alleging a possible involvement of YSR family in the murder hoping to distract voters from the ruling party.
The senior political analysts stated that chances of YSRC winning Tirupati are bright but the ruling party has set a heavy target by hoping for a four to five lakh majority while it won the 2019 elections with a 2.28 lakh majority.
Ramachandra Reddy said that YSRC government is treating Tirupati by-election as a referendum. He said that the welfare activities and development programmes have drawn the appreciation of people, which was reflected in the recent local body elections.