In a calculated move, the party fields candidates in as many constituencies as possible

The YSR Congress Party (YSRC) is set to garner as much vote share as possible in the elections not just to upset the applecart of front-runners in several Assembly constituencies across the region, but to get recognition as a State party here.

As part of its strategy, the party leadership has fielded candidates in as many constituencies as possible, though it was planning to field 25-45 candidates in Assembly and 3-5 candidates in parliamentary segments initially. Accordingly, the party has put up its candidates in 104 Assembly and 13 parliamentary segments besides supporting CPI (M) candidates in another 5 Assembly segments.

The party has taken to the gamble, despite knowing that people may not support it after it went against their wish in Telangana issue. Even when the party’s stand was not against Telangana, political parties like the Congress, TDP, TRS and BJP with good organisational set up in the region were wary of YSRC’s growing popularity.

The party is likely to tilt the balance in about half-a-dozen Assembly constituencies as it plans to secure considerable votes there. “We believe that people still have a liking for late Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy and the welfare schemes implemented by him. And we hope to get the support of such staunch followers of YRS,” party senior leader M.V. Mysura Reddy observed. Besides, the party is banking on the support of people from Seemandhra region settled in Telangana, particularly in and around Hyderabad and parts of Medak, Ranga Reddy, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Warangal and Khammam districts and a share in minorities’ vote.

It was on the premise that they comprise a sizeable chunk of the electorate in 25 to 40 Assembly constituencies that the party leadership had decided to contest those seats initially.

The YSRC is hopeful that its candidates can do well in about nine constituencies in and around Hyderabad, particularly in Khairatabad, Sherilingampally, Kukatpally, Qutubullahpur and Secunderabad Assembly segments. In Khairatabad with over 2.43 lakh electorate, daughter of former CLP leader P. Janardhan Reddy is giving the sitting MLA from Congress, Danam Nagender, a run for his money, a party leader said. “We hope to put up a good fight in several constituencies in Khammam and Nalgonda districts including Kothagudem, Wyra, Sattupalle, Kodad and Suryapet,” he added.

Even in remote constituencies like Narayanakhed in Medak district, the YSRC has a crucial role to play in deciding the winner as its party candidate may split the Congress vote.

The leadership, however, has given little importance to canvassing in Telangana. Y.S. Sharmila campaigned in Hyderabad for two days while party president Jaganmohan visited Nalgonda and Khammam districts for a day after the completion of nomination process.

“We are in the race,” is the stoic response from a senior leader, who played a key role in formulating party’s manifesto, when asked to give a realistic assessment of YSRC’s prospects in Telangana.