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Kadapa by-poll: Jagan vs Cong in high-stakes battle
Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh, MAY 8 (Agencies):
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Published on 8 May. 2011 10:20 PM IST
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It’s more a battle of prestige than power for the by-election to the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency in Andhra Pradesh today.
Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, son of the late Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, is locked in an intense battle with the Congress for the high-profile election, a situation caused by his resignation as MP from the seat after a bitter parting of ways with his father’s party in November last year.
Jagan later floated his own party, the YSR Congress. His mother, Vijayalakshmi, too will take on the Congress in the Pulivendula assembly by-election today.
Interestingly, she is squaring off with her brother-in-law, YSR’s younger brother Vivekananda Reddy, who fell out with the family and stayed with the Congress.
When asked about his electoral battle against Vijayalakshmi, Mr Reddy said, “It is almost certain that I am winning these elections.” He also dismissed family consideration saying, “Family is not at all a concern in elections.”
Vijayalakshmi too had quit the party with her son after representing the seat as an MLA for about a year following the death of her husband. For the mother-son duo, it’s a high-stakes battle.
Jagan had earlier swept the Kadapa seat with a margin of 1.79 lakh seats after it fell vacant following the death of his father YSR in a chopper crash in 2009. The young MP, then, clearly rode on a massive wave of sympathy for his immensely-popular father.
Hence, today’s elections will be an acid test for Jagan to determine whether he can survive without the party that his father was fiercely loyal to and served for so many years.
Speaking to NDTV, Jagan accused the Congress of influencing the voters with money. He further blamed the party of creating a rift within his family. “Sonia Gandhi has to answer for causing division in the YSR family”, he said. The Congress’ reputation too is stake as both Kadapa and Pulivendula have remained in its kitty for years, thanks to YSR.
Thus, a victory for Jagan and his mother could formally make his party a legitimate and formidable political opponent to the Congress in the state.

 
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