Kadapa: On the face of it, it`s a triangular
contest for the Kadapa Lok Sabha bye-election in Andhra
Pradesh, but in reality, it has essentially become a rather
straight fight between YSR Congress President Y S Jaganmohan
Reddy and Telugu Desam Party`s M V Mysura Reddy.
D L Ravindra Reddy of Congress appears to be also in the
fray only for the sake of it.
The lone question political pundits are asking is not who
will win Kadapa but what will be Jagan`s margin of victory.
Jagan got elected to Lok Sabha from Kadapa in 2009 on
Congress ticket by a margin of over 1.75 lakh votes.
But, he quit the party as well as his parliamentary
membership in November last year to float his own political
He is fighting the May 8 bye-election on behalf of his
fledgling party, staking claim to his late father Y S
Rajasekhara Reddy`s "political legacy."
Now, Jagan`s aim is to secure a victory margin of over two
lakh to three lakh votes so as to send a resounding message to
the Congress about his political might.
Interestingly, the Congress too is playing the "legacy"
card against Jagan claiming Rajasekhara Reddy remained a "true
Congressman" till his last breath unlike Jagan who quit the
party only to fulfil his "political over-ambition" of becoming
the chief minister.
Jagan, on the other hand, is banking heavily on the
sympathy factor and has been going to the extent of terming
the Kadapa by-poll as a fight between Sonia Gandhi and YSR.
"It is a fight for self-respect," he tells voters as he
seeks a mandate for him so as to teach a lesson to the
Congress high command.
The Congress has raised the BJP bogey against Jagan to
attract the two lakh-odd Muslim voters in the Kadapa after the
latter indicated that he would consider aligning with the
saffron party if it promised ten per cent reservation for
Muslims across the country.
Jagan himself has promised to provide reservation for
Muslims in politics as well.
The Telugu Desam, on the other hand, has focused entirely
on the issue of corruption, showcasing how Jagan has allegedly
amassed huge ill-gotten wealth between 2004 and 2009 when his
late father was the Chief Minister.
Jagan, however, is unperturbed over the tirade against him
by the Congress and the TDP as he is confident of riding the
Of the seven Assembly segments in Kadapa Lok Sabha
constituency, Jagan has a clear edge in four while the TDP is
strong in two.
The TDP is giving Jagan a run for his money in
Jammalamadugu and Kamalapuram segments while in Mydukuru too
it is gaining enough strength.
Incidentally, Congress candidate and state Health Minister
Ravindra Reddy belongs to Mydukuru, but in the bye-election
the tide is apparently turning against him.
Kamalapuram is the native place of TDP`s Mysura Reddy,
currently a member of Rajya Sabha, and hence he is able to
muster strong support.
However, Congress MLA from Jammalamadugu, C Adinarayana
Reddy, is a staunch Jagan-loyalist and has been actively
campaigning for the former MP.
But, the Congress appears to stand no chance in this
segment, as former TDP minister Ramasubba Reddy has done
enough ground work to keep his party flag flying high.
By ensuring a good margin for Mysura Reddy in the by-poll,
Ramasubba Reddy would like to re-establish his hold on the
In Badwel, Congress MLA Kamalamma too sailed with Jagan
initially but returned to her parent party as soon as the
by-election campaign kicked off.
However, this has not helped the ruling party any way as
former MLA Govinda Reddy, who is on Jagan`s side, has proved
mightier than her, thereby ensuring solid backing for the YSR
The TDP has sitting MLA M Linga Reddy in Proddutur but he
may find it difficult to check the Jagan juggernaut.
Same is the case in Kadapa town where Congress minister Md
Ahmedullah is finding it touch to match Jagan.
Pulivendula Assembly segment could be the lone face-saver
for the Congress, thanks to YSR`s younger brother Vivekananda
Incidentally, Vivekananda Reddy is himself locked in a
battle with his sister-in-law Vijayalakshmi for the
Pulivendula Assembly seat, by-election for which is being
"One vote (Assembly) for me, one vote (Lok Sabha) for my
nephew (Jagan)," has been Viveka`s slogan for most part of the
by-poll campaign despite the uncle-nephew duo being at
loggerheads over the YSR family`s political course.
Starting from Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, his
predecessor K Rosaiah, Praja Rajyam Party president K
Chiranjeevi and a few Union ministers campaigned for the
Congress while more than half of the state cabinet ministers
are busy on poll duty in Kadapa for about a month now.
The outcome of the by-election may only result in
heartburn for all of them.