As many as 24 Ministers and more than 60 Congress legislators were present in Pulivendula on Tuesday when Y.S. Vijayalakshmi, widow of former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, filed her nomination as the party candidate for the ensuing by-election.

In what is seen as a show of strength by YSR’s loyalists, a large number of Ministers and legislators, besides district level leaders from various regions turned up at Pulivendula.

Incidentally, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah had directed Roads and Buildings Minister Galla Aruna to coordinate the filing of nomination by Ms. Vijayalakshmi. She filed three sets of papers as Y.S. Vijayamma (that is how she has registered herself in the voters list) before Returning Officer (RO)G. Gopal at Pulivendula at 2.44 p.m. on Monday. YSR’s cousins Y.S. Prakash Reddy and Y.S. Bhaskar Reddy and YSR’s brother-in-law E.C. Gangi Reddy proposed her candidature in one set each.

Ms. Vijayalakshmi’s nomination was the first one to be filed for the by-election since the process began on November 25. Apart from her, only five persons Y.S. Jaganmohan ReDDY, Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy, R and B Minister Galla Aruna and Mr. Bhaskar Reddy, were permitted into the RO’s chambers, in accordance with the Election Commission guidelines. They came in three cars with police escort to the Tahsildar Office premises at around 2.25 p.m. and came out at 2.50 p.m. While leaving the premises, Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy stood on his car’s footrest and waved his hands to greet a large turnout of YSR followers, waiting in the CSI Church grounds, while Ms. Vijayalakshmi stayed inside the car.

Earlier in the day, YSR’s family members visited Idupulapaya Estate to pay floral tributes to him before proceeding to Pulivendula to file the nomination papers.

Ms. Vijayalakshmi broke down at the grave of the late leader and had to be consoled by Mr. Jagan, who then escorted her to a waiting vehicle.