Remains unfazed by the hostile atmosphere prevailing in the region over its stand on bifurcation

Unfazed by the hostile reception it has witnessed in Telangana in the recent past, the YSR Congress is eyeing at least five Parliamentary constituencies in the region.

The party is trying to overcome the adverse opinion it has accrued following its U-turn on the Telangana issue, chanting the Samaikyandhra slogan after July 30 and its key leaders in the region calling it quits protesting the change in stand.

It hopes to garner at least 6 per cent vote share in Telangana to get recognised as national party with its presence both in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Preliminary field-level reports received by the party suggest that it can look at 50 Assembly seats and concentrate on at least two-dozen constituencies to reap the benefits.

A meeting chaired by party president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy on Saturday, however, decided to contest all seats in Telangana harping upon the welfare schemes the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy government had implemented and the goodwill they still enjoy among the downtrodden and the poor.

“We know we have some dormant support for YSRC in the region in spite of our united A.P. stand and we plan to make every bit to build upon that platform,” party senior leader Konathala Ramakrishna said.

Highly placed sources in the YSRC said the party has set its sight on Khammam, Malkajgiri, Mahabubabad, Secunderabad and Chevella Lok Sabha seats. There is a talk that the party may have alliance with the CPI(M) and allot a few Parliamentary seats.

The party is banking heavily on Khammam district, where it believes to be on a strong footing. In the case of Secunderabad, Malkajgiri and Chevella Parliamentary constituencies, the YSRC is hopeful of support from Seemandhra people and minorities. In Chevella constituency for instance, there are four lakh people from Seemandhra besides two lakh Muslim and Christian voters each. A party leader from Ranga Reddy district pointed out that there are three lakh voters from Seemandhra in Serilingampalli constituency followed by 64,000 in Maheshwaram and 50,000 in Rajendranagar constituencies.

Notwithstanding its ambitions, the party faces an uphill task because of its desertion by senior and district-level leaders. The party’s second-rung leaders, however, are unable to approach voters confidently fearing backlash for its stand against Telangana.

‘We will regain lost ground’

“Several key leaders have deserted us over a period of time, but we are trying to regain the lost ground. We hope that some of them will return to us failing to get accommodated in other parties,” sources said. Meanwhile, the party has already decided to make honorary president Y.S. Vijayamma and Sharmila as its star campaigners in Telangana, the sources added.