P. Samuel Jonathan
GUNTUR: The sun sets on a hot summer day and it is time to start the day’s campaign. Nadendla Manoharam, the sprightly doctor-wife of Tenali MLA Nadendla Manohar, walks the talk at Tenali with a spring in the step. She leads the campaign in the municipal wards, while her spouse concentrates in the rural areas. Accompanied by party’s councillors, she visits every house and asks them to vote for her husband.
Ms. Manoharam, a practising physician at Hyderabad, quit her career to meet the demands of a married life and settled down as a housewife. This time, however, she has the taken the responsibility of campaigning for the party.
This is the striking feature of the elections in 2009 as the wives have turned into star campaigners of their husbands.
They form a perfect foil to the rigorous campaign of the men and in their way add the extra dimension to the campaign. Most of them are political novices, but by striking an emotional chord with women, they were able to add a personal touch to the campaign.
“Being a doctor, my wife has got used to personal interactions with people. She tries to understand their problems and lends a patient ear,” Manohar said.
In Guntur, TDP’s nominee Chukkapalli Ramesh was being supported by his daughter Kusuma and his wife Srilakshmi. The sight of young Kusuma, dressed in yellow and sporting a cap, campaigning in the sweltering heat has boosted party’s youth wing.
At Sattenapalli, wife of sitting MLA Yerram Venkateswara Reddy, Brahramba Devi has been pitching in, while TDP’s candidate Nimmakayala Raja Narayana’s spouse Ratna Kumari and Praja Rajyam nominee Byra Dileep Chakravarthy’s wife Pavani is too chipping in.
Sitting MLA at Chilakaluripet Marri Rajasekhar was being enthused by his wife and daughter of former MLA Somepalli Sambaiah, Lalitha campaigning for him. His rival is not far behind as Venkata Kumari, wife of Prathipati Pulla Rao too has stepped in her efforts.
In Ponnur, Thalla Venkatesh Yadav could find comfort as his wife Uma Maheswari has lent a supporting hand.
For some like Chebrolu Srilakshmi, wife of Chebrolu Narendranath contesting on a Congress ticket at Vinukonda, campaigning does take away some family time but she was willing to compromise to help her husband who is testing the political waters for the first time.