Kurnool / Vijayawada: YSRC president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who called the Nandyal byelection a ‘Kurukshetra Maha Sangramam’ admitted after the results were declared on Monday that the party had received a “punch” from the Telugu Desam.
“Today we were punched and we will await our turn to punch. He socked us today. We have the capacity to take it. You must have the guts, be man enough to take the hit. We will await our turn,” he said in Hyderabad while speaking along with party MP Y.V. Subba Reddy and his political strategist Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy.
He said AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu would be “foolish” to count the bypoll outcome as his success.
He alleged that the TD had spent Rs 200 crore to lure the public and had used the police to threaten the public.
Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy said such success could not be considered a referendum. He expressed his confidence in winning the next time, while accepting the “temporary success” of Mr Naidu.
Reacting in Hyderabad to the Nandyal bypoll outcome, he asked, “How can a single Assembly election outcome, where all ministers and over 100 MLAs were deployed and over `200 crore was spent to influence the voters, be considered a referendum.”
“Let him ask all the defected MLAs to resign and get them re-elected on the TD symbol in the bypolls. That alone can be considered a referendum. The result in one constituency, where the byelection was held in extraordinary circumstances, cannot be a referendum,” he said.
The YSRC chief thanked all those who voted for the party in Nandyal, despite the “intimidation, threats and allurements” from the TD.
He thanked party leaders who had braved all threats to work for the party against heavy odds. He congratulated party candidate Shilpa Mohan Reddy and his brother Chakrapani Reddy for “bravely standing up for political morality and fighting the battle of right against might”.
Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged that the TD had resorted to “utter misuse of power” to win the bypoll. The administration was fully used to threaten and influence the voters, he claimed.
“If Chandrababu thinks he has won in Nandyal, it is utterly wrong. The victory at best is pyrrhic. He has duped the people.
Development turned tide
Poll pundits said the magic of development activities in Nandyal and people’s sympathy towards the Bhuma family had turned the tide in favour of the TD in the August 23 byelection.
Speaking to this newspaper, YSRC candidate Shilpa Mohan Reddy said his absence from public activities due to viral fever for 25 days during the poll campaign cost him a lot.
He said the sympathy for Bhuma Nagi Reddy was clearly visible in the voting pattern, even in areas where he (Mr Shilpa Mohan Reddy) was strong.
He alleged that the ruling party had threatened the people that if they did not vote for the TD, the development work that was already initiated would be stalled. This could have caused apprehension in the voters’ mind, he claimed. YSRC district convener Gouru Venkat Reddy said: “Nandyal town was neglected for the past 30 years. Now, the CM’s new initiatives have given them some hope of development.”...