YSR Congress sets its sights on Telangana after bypoll wins
By R Prithvi Raj - HYDERABAD
Published: 29th Jul 2012 10:12:38 AM
Riding on the crest of the near victory in the Parakal by-election in Warangal district despite the presence of strong Telangana movement, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) has set its eyes on the entire region. Emboldened by the support of the voters, the YSRCP now says it does not have to elaborate its stand on the Telangana issue after the cryptic one-liner Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy made at the YSRCP plenary in Idupulapaya in July last year that “he neither can get Telangana nor can he stop it”.
“What is there to explain? The tremendous support we had in Parakal is indicative of the acceptance of our stand,” one YSRCP leader, who did not want his name quoted, said.
Enthused by the support from the people of Telangana, YSRCP honorary president Y S Vijayamma made a second “incursion” into the Telangana heartland, Sircilla in Karimnagar district, and organised a protest in support of weavers on July 23. When she visited Parakal for the election campaign in June, she had drawn sizeable crowds.
YSRCP candidate for Parakal Konda Surekha was considered an underdog when she filed her nomination papers for the by-election held in June because she was representing a party which is known for its support to an integrated state. Every one had thought that Surekha would come a cropper and that the TRS would have a cakewalk. But that was not to be. Surekha scared the daylights out of TRS candidate M Bhikshapathy and came very close to wining the seat. Though the TRS candidate scraped through with a majority of 1,500 votes, the import of the election was clear—Jagan Mohan Reddy and his mother Vijayamma—are a force to reckon with in Telangana.
Ever since Vijayamma announced her Sircilla yatra to take up the cause of the weavers, the TRS which sees her as a threat to their existence, reacted sharply. The party leaders kept shouting expletives at Vijayamma and Jagan Mohan Reddy every day for one week prior to her Sircilla yatra. On July 23, the day she left for Sricilla, the TRS pulled all the stops. Its activists in Hyderabad, in all villages enroute to Sricilla, kept raining stones on her convoy of cars, the police had to intervene several times, but Vijayamma had the last laugh—the show was a big draw.
Taken aback by Vijaymma’s foray and the kind of protection the police had given her, the TRS leaders raised Cain. As it is, the TRS is under pressure from the people to explain to them why they could not secure statehood for the region as they had promised. The TRS so far has managed to decimate the TDP and the Congress in Telangana region.
What is worrying the TRS is the possibility that Telangana activists who are neither in the Congress nor in the TRS or in the TDP could join Jagan Mohan Reddy. The YSRCP is also happy with Vijayamma’s visit to Sircilla for another reason. It believes that it has sent positive signals to people in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema that it would capture power in the 2014 elections.