Kadapa bypolls: Chasing a mirage –Bhandaru Srinivas Rao (I.I.S.)
Once again politics in Andhra heated up with the by polls to Kadapa Parliament as well Pulivendla assembly constituency elections drawing closer. The by polls necessitated with the resignations of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and his mother Vijayalakshmi, resigning from the Congress party.
Main opposition Telugu Desam, which never won or come closer to the winner in these two constituencies, which are considered as bastion of former chief minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, who died in a chopper crash, could find a strong candidate in the form of Dr M V Mysoora Reddy to field against YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the leader of newly formed YSR Congress Party. After the late leader Rajasekhara Reddy, it’s Mysoora, who got some hold on the district politics. Ironically, the Congress, which could lure yesteryear YSR arch rival family members – Kandula brothers from TDP – however, failed to make them accept the candidature to take on young scion Jaganmohan Reddy. Whatever may be reasons for Kandula brothers’ back out, it certainly have its bearing on the poll outcome. As a result, the Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had to thrust upon the responsibility to one of his cabinet colleague and sworn enemy of YSR family, Dr.D.L.Ravindrareddy to accept the challenge. Thus far, the Kadapa parliament by poll becomes an interesting political event which will have a bearing on future polarization of political parties.
For Congress and the Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, the Kadapa parliament by poll is the biggest challenge that they might have faced since the formation of the state, though Pulivendula assembly by poll too may be equally important. Media reports also indicate that the party high command reportedly told the chief minister during his recent visit to Delhi that ‘only a victory for the ruling party in the two seats would reflect his abilities to lead the party till the 2014 general and assembly elections’. At Pulivendla, the Congress could find a potential candidate within the family – that’s YSR’s brother Vivekananda Reddy.
The by-polls becomes interesting as the Congress as well the newly born YSR Congress headed by Jaganmohan Reddy claiming they are the true inheritors of late leader’s legacy. The ruling Congress and its Chief Minister had taken the by-polls seriously and entrusted the job drafting more than half a dozen Ministers and two dozen MLAs for the official nominee’s victory by hook-or-crook. Each assembly segment of Kadapa parliament constituency will be headed by a Minister to oversee the party nominee’s prospects meticulously. Though, there might be such instances in the past, but this time around, for the ruling Congress its ‘perform or perish’ kind of a situation.
But `aam admi` wonders, what the election commission is doing when such drama being enacted right before its eyes on Andhra political stage? In democracy, should such things be allowed to happen? How can the state administration be brought to standstill, may be for a week or so, by deploying more than half a dozen important ministers, camping in Kadapa, ignoring the rest of the state peoples` problems? Aren’t the rulers making ‘democracy’ a ‘mockery’ to score a political point or two against their rivals?
This apart, look at the Congress nominee, who holds a cabinet rank, unwilling to relinquish his office, still wants to be party candidate and contest? What sort of morals the Congress would like to set? Contrary to Ravindra Reddy, the same party nominee from Pulivendla, Vivekanandareddy was right when he insisted the Chief Minister to accept his resignation first and let him go ahead to contest the polls.
In these particular by-polls, it’s the Telugu Desam, which has some relatively more moral right to ask people to elect its nominee. Reason: The party had been expressing apprehensions from time immemorial that YSR family had established their fiefdom in Kadapa and never allowed free-and-fair polls, to give an opportunity for the voter to exercise his or franchise vote according to their conscience. Moreover, the party is also known to unleash aggressive campaign against YSR and his family. Thus far, its decision to fight polls against ‘honesty and dishonesty’ may be more convincing and acceptable. As far holding free and fair polls, it’s the responsibility of the party in power and the election commission. The TDP has no moral right to crib as YSR and his family members won hands down, if not with slender margin, in the past when TDP was in power.
Ask anyone on the street in the state - from Ichchapuram to Yellendu or Anakapally to Achampet – he or she will only say that Jagan and his mother’s victory is foregone conclusion. If the Congress conceded the defeat even before the polls by failing to find a strong and suitable candidate, then the TDP, which too more or less conceded the defeat, wanted try and increase their voting percentage by fielding a strong candidate like Dr Mysoora Reddy, who in fact, succeeded to neutralize YSR hold on the party to some extent as Home Minister, in the `scheme of things` of Congress veteran late Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy.
Meanwhile, the affidavit filed by YS Jaganmohanreddy along with his nomination papers has become another spicy matter for small screen discussions. While it came handy for the critics of Jagan as his declared assets crossed hundreds of crores of rupees, for the supporters it became hard nut to substantiate. However, one political observer said that everyone talks about corruption, but at the same time they don’t hesitate to cover corrupt people when it suits their needs. Is is also interesting to notice one caller questioning the moral right of the of the people who were participating in the debate to talk about corruption.