She fails to evoke much response from public but daughter Sharmila strikes a chord

Braving the scorching sun, thousands of people gathered at the town crossroads to catch a glimpse of YSR Congress Party leaders Y.S. Vijayalakshmi and Sharmila when they arrived here to campaign for party candidate for Parkal Assembly by-election, on Friday.

The honorary president of YSRCP, Ms. Vijayalakshmi did not evoke much response from the public but her daughter Ms. Sharmila struck a chord with the audience. Vijayamma's speech was repetitive and had a dull note.

Huge turnout

But whenever she uttered Jagan's name, there were cheers from the crowd. The turnout for the road show, organised by Konda Muralidhar Rao and his wife, YSRCP candidate Konda Surekha, was huge in Konayamakula village on the Geesukonda crossroads.

People poured into the village in auto-rickshaws and were made to sit under a huge tent arranged a little distance away from the meeting spot. The meeting was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. but the mother and daughter arrived at 1 p.m. and left around 2.30 p.m.

Ms. Vijayalakshmi dedicated her 30-minute-long speech to detailing how the State government and Congress leaders were carrying a witch-hunt against late YSR's family including his son Jagan.

She only made a passing reference to the separate Telangana issue. “Jagan Babu respects the Telangana sentiment. He paid tributes to those who died for the cause. YSR was always concerned about Telangana people and its development was top on his priority list,” she said.

Sporting a blue dress, Ms. Sharmila cheered the crowds waving to them with a smile. She introduced herself by giving her name and telling people that she is the daughter of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and sister of Jagan.

Ms Sharmila, who also spoke for half-an-hour, tried to explain to people why and how Jagan was jailed by the Congress party high command. She said the CBI had been acting at the behest of the Congress high command.