Though the Congress was nearly washed out in Adilabad in earlier elections, YSR’s presence ensured its campaign never lacked a charismatic leader
Congressmen in Adilabad, especially party nominees for the upcoming elections, are missing the late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. The absence of an iconic leader reminds them of the former Chief Minister, who had successfully led the last two election campaigns for the Congress in Andhra Pradesh.
“This is the most severe of the disadvantages we have vis-à-vis the TRS,” a contestant from one of Assembly constituencies in the eastern region of the district said. “This is what could become a stumbling factor for candidates even in other districts of Telangana,” he added on condition of anonymity.
The late Chief Minister had first led his party to a win in the State in 2004 and for a second time in 2009. Though the Congress experienced a near washout in Adilabad, the campaign led by the late leader had not suffered due to the dearth of a dynamic leader acceptable to all sections within the party.
Sources said the issue of the absence of an iconic and charismatic leader in Telangana first cropped up when the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee was being formed. The Congress high command was also seized of the matter, but could do little in this regard.
“AICC general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Digvijay Singh had also expressed concern over the issue,” a source revealed. “The fears seem to be coming alive as our claims of having been the ones behind the separate Telangana State do not seem to cut ice with voters, at least now,” he added.
Most contestants, however, are hopeful of their campaign acquiring enough verve after Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s public meeting at Karimnagar.
“Rahul Gandhi’s visit, being planned for later this month, will also boost the prospects of Congress candidates,” the MLA candidate asserted.