Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal on Saturday made light of the YSR Congress Party’s victory in the just concluded by elections to 18 Assembly constituencies and Nellore Lok Sabha seat and attributed it to a ‘sympathy wave’ which he said was a temporary phase and will wear off very soon.
“I had rightly predicted that the outcome of the bypolls will be in favour of Jagan’s party because of the sympathy wave. This will fade very soon,” he told a press conference here on Saturday.
The MP said Mr. Jagan was a shrewd politician and he ‘timed’ his arrest with the by-polls, allowing his mother Vijayamma and sister Sharmila to take over the canvassing and generate public sympathy. “Jagan got himself arrested as per a well-chalked out poll plan and refused to apply for bail,” he said. “The YSRCP had secured 42 per cent of the votes in Kovvur by-polls in March against 49 per cent of votes garnered now. Had Jagan not been arrested, his party would have lost Tirupati, Yemmiganur, Prathipadu, Macharla, Paykaraopeta and Narsannapeta seats,” he opined.
The MP alleged that the YSRCP chief and his family members had hijacked the welfare programmes launched by the Congress Government. “They went around portraying the several welfare schemes launched by the Congress party for the poor and the needy as schemes of the then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. People were misled by the YSRCP which grabbed the entire credit for the string of programmes,” he said.
“We delayed in going to the people to expose Jagan’s misleading campaign. The party cadre should at least go to people now and educate them on the ground realities,” he said.
Ridiculing Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s oft-repeated statement that the vote for TRS was vote for Telangana, he pointed out that the TRS had got only 33 per cent of votes in Parakala, the epicentre of Telangana movement. “Will the party now agree that the remaining part of the region is against a separate Telangana?” he wondered.
Referring to the TDP, he said despite being the principle Opposition party, it was relegated to the third place.
MLAs Malladi Vishnu and Velampalli Srinivas, former MLA Adusumilli Jayprakash, City Congress Committee president Pyla Sominaidu, Ilapuram Venkaiah, DCC president Naraharisetty Narasimha Rao and others were present.