Scepticism notwithstanding, Jai Samaikyandhra Party president Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy with his slogan ‘Teluguvaari Aatma Gouravam’ hopes to make an impact with voters who have given up on the Congress, TDP and YSR Congress alike.
The former CM, who took his time to announce the new party, feels that a party like JSP is exactly what the voters want today. The lean turnout of leaders at his press meet on Monday to announce the party’s name has led some Congress leaders to remark derisively that JSP is a ‘sleeper berth.’ “Mr. Kiran Reddy’s party is like a sleeper berth. Those who fail to get tickets in first or second AC satisfy themselves with a seat in the sleeper class,” said Congress MLC K. Satyanarayana Raju.
Indeed, there’s not exactly been a flood of leaders into the JSP but that might just be its USP, say people gathering at his Madhapur office for party tickets.
As he races against time to select the candidates, Mr. Kiran Reddy has his hands full. “My focus is on students, NGO activists and women. We will pitchfork them into the electoral battle. We are going to create a new buzz in AP politics,” he asserts.
He goes on to say that people are above the party. “A party should reflect what people want but the Congress has done just the opposite,” he says. Will he ally with the Congress? “The question doesn’t arise. I floated the party only after the Congress has failed to safeguard the interests of Telugu people,” he avers. Taking a leaf out of Aam Aadmi Party’s symbol of broom, JSP, in all likelihood, will have the common man’s ‘chappal’ as its symbol. “There is a growing resentment among commoners that the Congress has betrayed them and they want Mr. Kiran Reddy to fight for them,” says the former CM’s brother Santosh Reddy.
Mr. Santosh Reddy, who is busy going through the survey reports of party’s chances in 13 Seemandhra districts say the party is going to change the way the electoral battles are fought and candidates are selected. “For instance, Muslims constitute a sizeable number in Kurnool (21%) and Srisailam (24%) segments and unlike other parties which focus on caste equations, we will give tickets to the deserving keeping in mind the local factors,” he reveals. As the Nallari brothers are bracing for the party’s launch in Rajahmundry on Wednesday, youngsters like Noti Prasad Reddy and Malla Kotappa are wasting no time and are already in campaign mode. “The JSP will win more seats than the YSRC and the TDP. Mr. Kiran Reddy will create a wave,” Mr. Prasad Reddy of Kavali says. He quit his software job recently to canvass for the new party.
It’s early days but the party will build gradually but steadily a rapport with the people which will bear fruit in the elections, says a close aide of Mr. Kiran Reddy.