Hyderabad: Over a month ahead of Lok Sabha and Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections, campaigning has picked up in the Seemandhra region, though the suspense continued on electoral alliances.
Facing flak for the "unilateral" division of Andhra Pradesh and an exodus of important leaders, Congress leaders from Seemandhra, led by Union Minister Chiranjeevi and the president of newly-created Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee, launched a mass contact programme last week, to boost the morale of the rank and file and reach out to voters.
Alleging that former AP Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is to be blamed for the state`s bifurcation and that Congress was the last to decide on the issue, Chiranjeevi also tried to highlight the development package announced for the Seemandhra (as coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are jointly known) region.
The bus tour by Chiranjeevi and other leaders began in Srikakulam district in coastal Andhra, bordering Orissa, on March 21 and is likely to conclude on March 27 at Anantapur in Rayalaseema, neighbouring Karnataka.
Polling is scheduled in Seemandhra on May 7 and in Telangana, on April 30.
Seemandhra accounts for 175 assembly seats and 25 Lok Sabha seats, while Telangana accounts
for only 119 Assembly seats and 17 Lok Sabha constituencies.
YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, his mother and party honorary president Y S Vijayamma as well as his sister Sharmila have been touring different districts in Seemandhra for several days now.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is bolstered by the admission of a number of leaders and at least half-a-dozen ministers in the N Kiran Kumar Reddy-led Congress government, besides more than 20 MLAs, even as TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu has been addressing public meetings in Seemandhra.