G.V. Ramana Rao
VIJAYAWADA: A kind of bonhomie prevailed in the streets of Satyanarayanapuram on Saturday. Word about the door-to-door campaign of Congress candidate for Vijayawada Central constituency Malladi Vishnu was out. People residing on the ground floor came into the veranda and those living in the higher storeys were out in the balconies in anticipation.
The residents vied with each other to invite Mr. Vishnu to their homes and speak to him without any inhibition.
He campaigned from door to door in the 47th municipal division. He was led by a person no less than senior corporator Sistla Ramalinga Murthy. The corporator introduced him to all as his “younger brother”.
Sparing nothing to impress the public, the corporator even touched the feet of the elders in respect.
Though the candidate himself greeted them with a degree of reticence, nobody seemed to mind. The corporator of the division Tadikonda Durga Venkata Nagalakshmi was in tow.
Promising housing and other welfare programmes to poor Brahmins, Mr. Vishnu carried out an intensive campaign in the locality. It was not lost on the Brahmins, predominant in the locality, that the Congress gave ticket to their community person after a gap of nearly two decades. Of course, the community stood by the Congress notwithstanding the caste of the candidates selected by it. While the first two MLAs to be elected from the constituency (old Vijayawada East) were Brahmins, non-brahmins entered the scene in 1978 and have been holding sway ever since.
The euphoria over the Congress giving ticket to a candidate that had a good chance of winning was evident in the faces of the people greeting Mr. Vishnu. While he campaigned with the senior leaders, his wife Kiranmayi campaigned separately at a more leisurely pace with good response.
A troupe of artistes, mostly youngsters, dancing to specially penned songs about the achievements of the Congress party and Mr. Vishnu in an open top mini lorry was a big at attraction to the floating public.