Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy, after leading the Congress to a victory in Telangana state in the Assembly elections, has emerged as one of the most sought-after leader for campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections. He has been receiving requests from several Pradesh Congress Committee chiefs to address public meetings in their states, with most demand coming from neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Revanth also received invitations from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, in addition to Gujarat and Bihar. The expectation of Congress leaders in those states is that Revanth can influence Telugu-speaking native voters in those states. But leading the party in Telangana for the LS polls as TPCC chief, and his Chief Ministerial responsibilities, are keeping Revanth fully occupied. That said, he did agree to campaign in Maharashtra and he might well make a few quick visits to other states in the weeks to come. But then, once the elections in Telangana are completed on May 13, it is expected that Revanth Reddy will have to time to campaign in other states.


Political partners? Friends? Frenemies? The lines are getting blurred as the LS poll campaign begins to pick up heat and the latest to leave an opening for the BJP to attack was the announcement that the Congress and the AIMIM were getting closer. Coming from Feroz Khan, Congress candidate from the Nampally Assembly constituency, the comment picked up speed quickly. Word doing the rounds soon after was how could he agree to something like that after having fought a bitter war with the AIMIM on the issue of bogus votes, which he had said the AIMIM relies on to win elections. So, who will raise the bogus votes question from within the Congress now is the question being asked.


The past can catch up pretty fast and before you know it, it can deliver a few quick knocks. Such seems to be the case with the BJP’s Nalgonda LS poll candidate Shanampudi Saidireddy. The leader, who recently quit the BRS and joined the BJP, is facing some strong headwinds from within his new party with district BJP leaders pointing out how Saidireddy hounded them with police cases and so on when he was the BRS MLA from Huzurnagar. Also, there is a history of tensions between Saidireddy’s followers and those of BJP leaders Bandi Sanjay Kumar and D. Raja Singh and these too are now becoming reasons why BJP cadres are not happy with their party’s candidate choice from Nalgonda.


There is much to read between the lines when politicians make promises. Take for instance the one from TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, seeking to return to power in Andhra Pradesh. During the ongoing campaign for the state Assembly polls, Naidu first called the volunteer system — that the YSRC government had put in place to deliver government welfare to people — as nothing more than a network of sleeper cells, drug traffickers, and so on. But, apparently realising that he may have bitten off more than he could chew, Naidu, during the Ugadi celebrations, made a U-turn, and declared that if elected, the TD would retain the volunteer system in AP, and even throw in Rs 10,000 to each for their work. What he left unsaid is what is now being talked about. Will a TD government retain the current volunteers picked by the YSRC or pick its own after coming to power? The answer to this can come only with time.


A bird in hand… such appears to be the dilemma facing the Kurnool city Mayor and YSRC leader B.Y. Ramaiah who was nominated by his party to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Kurnool. After his selection following former minister and Alur legislator P. Jayaram declining to contest from the seat, Ramaiah has hit the streets campaigning actively but if social media buzz is anything to go by, he is doing so with some reluctance. The reason is he will need to quit his Mayor post, something he is not quite ready to do. Meanwhile, the party has picked his replacement for the Mayor’s post and Ramaiah’s silence on whether he will resign as Mayor is the buzz in the town.


It’s not easy to run an election campaign with meagre funds. And wondering how YSRC leader and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is managing to hold his huge ‘Memantha Siddham’ rallies with all the expenses involved is none other than TD president N. Chandrababu Naidu. The TD leader also questioned in public where the YSRC was getting the money from for such huge events. To raise some cash for the TD, Naidu recently launched a website seeking donations and kicked off the collection by contributing `99,999, and called on people to pitch in. Whether the appeal will work only time can tell.

Contributions from Laxmi Pranati, G. Sampat Samritan, G. Ram Mohan, L. Venkat Ram Reddy, P.V. Prasad, Pratyush Nallella.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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