Raghuveera Reddy, with other party leaders, launch bus yatra. The party is facing rough weather in Seemandrha region owing to the State bifurcation.

The Congress is heavily banking on the image of actor-turned-politician and Union Minister of Tourism K. Chiranjeevi and it was evident from the bus yatra that began on Friday in Srikakulam.

The party, which is facing rough weather in Seemandrha region owing to the State bifurcation, pins high hope that Mr. Chiaranjeevi’s image would minimise the damage and act as crowd-puller during the electioneering.

PCC president N. Raghuveera Reddy and Campaign Committee head Mr. Chiranjeevi formally kicked off the election campaign at the Indira Vignan Bhavan here on Friday, followed by a public meeting and bus yatra. Galaxy of the party leaders including Pallam Raju, Killi Kruparani, Panabaka Lakshmi, J.D. Sheelam, C. Ramachandraiah, Kondru Murali and others arrived in Srikakulam in a specially designed bus in which they would travel next week to all the districts of Seemandhra region. Addressing the people and party workers, Mr. Chairanjeevi alleged that former Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy had misled the people concealing the facts and the packages announced by the Union government to Seemandhra region.

Mr. Raghuveera Reddy said that the Congress leaders would explain the truth to the people during the bus yatra and highlight the packages announced by the Union government to Seemandhra region.

He alleged that several Congress leaders ditched the party after enjoying power for several decades.

Ms. Kruparani and Mr. Murali claimed that the Congress’ strength remained intact in Srikakulam as people and party activists had understood the reasons that led to the bifurcation.

Srikakulam DCC President Dola Jagan, spokesperson Ratnala Narasimhamurthy, OBC Cell Chairman Palavalasa Karunakar and others also participated in the meeting.

Congress senior leaders elicit suggestions from the activists for drafting of the poll manifesto. Party leaders Mustak Mohammad, Chowdary Satish and others sought ticket for Srikakulam Assembly seat.