K. Srinivas Reddy
Byelection likely to seats that fell vacant following TRS resignations
HYDERABAD: The Election Commission has not yet officially announced the dates of the bypoll for three Assembly segments in the State capital, but at least two political parties, the Telugu Desam and the Lok Satta have already switched into the election mode. While Khairatabad seat fell vacant after the demise of popular leader P. Janardhana Reddy, bypolls are necessitated with the resignations of the TRS members N. Narsimha Reddy and T. Padma Rao from Musheeabad and Secunderabad constituencies respectively.
The workers and leaders of the Congress party appear to be still relaxed, while the other big player, the TRS is apparently banking on the ‘sympathy factor’ for the ‘sacrifices’ made by its two sitting legislators for the cause of Telangana.
The veil of ambiguity that surrounded the possibility of bypolls was cleared with the Election Commission indicating that there was no other go but to conduct byelection to all the seats that fell vacant in the wake of TRS resignations.
If the Telugu Desam is clearly way ahead of opponents, as its Greater Hyderabad unit had taken up a massive mass contact programme through cycle yatras, the Lok Satta is not lagging behind. The Greater Hyderabad TDP president, K. Vijayarama Rao has been participating in cycle yatras everyday, while the Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan is busy in attending road shows in every nook and corner of the State capital.
The cycle yatras and the road shows have all the trappings of an election campaign. Followed by enthused party workers raising full-throated slogans, modified jeeps fitted with public address system blaring out ‘party songs’ have been a common occurrence nowadays. Impromptu road side speeches are made both by Mr.Vijayarama Rao and Mr.Jayaprakash Narayan.
“During the cycle yatras, people are coming to us to air their grievances about various issues from house sites, improper enumeration for government housing schemes, inadequacy in supply of subsidised rice, pensions being withheld to a host of civic issues.
We educate them about the all pervasive corruption in the Congress rule”, Mr. Vijayarama Rao said during one of his cycle yatras in Fatehnagar last week. “The response is excellent and these cycle yatras have galvanised the rank and file of the party cadre”, the former IPS officer asserted.
The theme of Lok Satta president Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan is on the expected lines. Clean governance. The all-pervasive corrupt atmosphere. The distorted public discourse which nowadays includes only invective abuse and hatred. Impulsive short term promises. And the imperative need to change the system…these were the issues highlighted by Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan in his extempore speeches during a road show in Kapra municipality on Sunday. He would never get tired of trying to enthuse people to shift from being a change-seeker to a change-maker.
Interestingly, both the former IPS and IAS officers who took to politics, focus is on the middle class, the women and the youth segments. Public response has been good to their rallies, but it would be too premature to judge to what extent, the enthusiastic response would metamorphose into votes, when the electoral battles are fought in the near future.