Making a headstart, YSR Congress Party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and his mother Y S Vijayalakshmi on Wednesday separately launched their campaigns for the May 8 by-elections for Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh.
Vijayalakshmi and Jagan, along with other members of the family, paid homage at the burial site of late Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy in Rajiv Knowledge Valley, Kadapa, before kick-starting their election campaign.
Addressing a gathering after unveiling his party flag at Mylavaram, Jagan said the by-elections would usher in significant changes in Andhra Pradesh politics. "The by-polls are a fight between the late YSR's legacy and the Congress high command," he said.
At Parnepalli in Pulivendula constituency, which is part of Kadapa Lok Sabha seat, Vijayalakshmi went on a door-to-door campaign seeking votes. Jagan's wife Bharati too began a door-to-door campaign in Tonduru mandal on behalf of her mother-in-law.
While Jagan will file his nomination papers for the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat on April 15, Vijayalakshmi will complete the formality the next day. The by-elections are being held as Vijayalakshmi and Jagan quit their respective posts as well as the Congress alleging that the Sonia Gandhi-led party not only humiliated their family, but also caused a split to it.
Meanwhile, the ruling Congress' woes in finding a suitable match for Jagan in Kadapa seems unending. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy held wide-ranging consultations with party leaders from Kadapa Tuesday night and followed it up with yet another round on Wednesday morning.
Though the Congress wanted to field state Health minister D L Ravindra Reddy against Jagan, the former reportedly refused to jump into the fray. Ex-member of legislative assembly Varadarajulu Reddy too expressed his reluctance forcing the party to search for other options.
The Congress is now desperately seeking to rope in Kandula Rajamohan Reddy, who has of late been staying away from the Telugu Desam Party, and pit him against Jagan. Rajamohan Reddy gave Y S Rajasekhara Reddy a run for his money in the 1996 Lok Sabha election from Kadapa.
Hence, the chief minister is said to be keen on fielding him as the Congress nominee. Interestingly, the TDP also tried to offer the Kadapa seat to Rajamohan Reddy but he reportedly turned it down, saying he had already severed his ties with the party.