As expected it was a wave of sympathy which Vijayamma, mother of Jagan Mohan Reddy and the wife of the late Dr Y S Rajasekara Reddy managed to garner as she kick started her election campaign. Vijayamma who was in the shadow of her son all these days and let him do all the talking politically hit the road leading the YSR Congress party.
She entered into the campaign fray after the party persuaded her to so in the event of her son, Jagan being arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on various charges of financial crimes.
While crying foul over her son’s arrest and also her husband’s death, Vijayamma managed to attract massive crowds along the way where she is having a road show of 5 kilometres. Vijayamma started off early this morning and reached Vishakapatanam along with her daughter, Sharmila by flight. From there she boarded a special bus. Her campaign began from Narasanapet and would continue till Payakaraopeta where the campaign would end for the day. She commenced her campaign by garlanding a massive bronze statue of her land husband. Accompanied by her daughter she offered prayers before the statue before setting out on her campaign.
There were scores curious onlookers waving at her all through her road show. People came out of their houses, flocked on the roads and also their balconies to watch one of the most anticipated campaigns in Andhra Pradesh.
The reaction on the roads was that of sympathy for Vijayamma. “Ideally it should have been Jagan who ought to have been campaigning, but thanks to injustice his poor mother and our amma has to come out in the hot sun to meet us.” However there were others who were not all that sympathetic too towards Jagan. “ If he has done wrong then the law should take its course. However our sympathies are with his mother who has had to face so much starting with the unfortunate death of her husband.”
Vijayamma however appeared to be confident. One would have expected her to break down and seek more sympathy through her tears. But she was calm composed and clear in whatever she spoke to the people. Earlier it was planned that she would get off the bus and have a one on one meeting with the people. However she was advised against it as the crowds had become too big to control and had she done so it would have become a nightmare for the police who were there all along in very large numbers.
All through her road show, she stopped just once to make a speech in which she assured the people that the golden rule and era of her late husband would return to Andhra Pradesh.
In her short yet powerful speech which drew in a huge crowd, she accused the Congress of playing a nasty game on her entire family. It is a political conspiracy played against my family by the Congress as they are unable to face us. The YSR Congress will implement all the schemes that my husband had proposed and planned. In addition to this we will also implement new schemes which will be people friendly.
I have my doubts about the Congress. They were just not able to face us and our growing popularity and they planned it so well to target my son just before the elections. I suspect the Congress to behind all this and today I even have doubts about the mysterious death of my husband. It is not just me but the people of Andhra Pradesh too have a lurking doubt about my husband’s death. We want to know how exactly he was killed.
I make this sincere appeal to all the people to help us bring back the era of Dr YSR. Use the vote as a tool and not as a weapon to oust the Congress and bring us to power. That is the only way will you be doing justice for me and my family, an emotional Vijayamma said. This is just not any by election. It is very important as it promises to bring out a new era in Andhra Pradesh.
This is however not the first time that Vijayamma has addressed a public rally. During the Kadapa by elections she has spoken. However there has been a marked difference between the talk then and now. She appeared to be shy at that time and was comparatively meek. However this time around she appears to have come out of the shadow and sounded very confident as she spoke and also interacted with the people when she told them at the end. “let the Congress do anything, but the final victory will be ours.”
Sharmila too had a few words to say. She stuck by her mother’s side at all times. She too appeared to be confident and she told the people that we are facing this situation today as the Congress is unable to handle Jagan’s popularity. My brother has gone behind bars as part of a larger conspiracy. He was ready to cooperate with the investigation despite this they put him behind bars and that too when the elections were round the corner.”
Vijayamma will continue with the campaign tomorrow as well and she has promised her party that she would visit all the 18 constituencies which go in for elections in June.
A few political observers in Andhra Pradesh say that the crowds that she managed to draw has been interesting, but it was expected. People have been curious as it is a family drama which has been played out on the streets of Andhra Pradesh. The YSR Congress has benefited largely due to all the happenings in the past couple of days. They may even win these by polls, but it would be interesting to see if they are able to sustain this once the cases against Jagan become stronger in the days to come they also pointed out.