Special Correspondent

ONGOLE: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has literally launched his election campaign during his official visit to Prakasam district on Wednesday. Dr Rajasekhara Reddy arrived by helicopter at 1 p.m., two hours behind schedule at Ramatheertham where he inaugurated Rs. 52 crore balancing reservoir. He also laid foundation stone for Rs. 12 crore Pothurajukalva modernisation scheme and Rs. 1 crore shadi khana at Ongole. He unveiled the statues of Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu near Rytu Bazar in Lawyerpet and Dr Ambedkar and Damodaram Sanjeevaiah near Praksam bhavan.

Though his programme was described as Palle Bata and Nagara Bata, his visit looked more political than official tour. He exhorted people to raise “Jai Congress” slogans at the end of his meetings at Chimakurthi, Santanutalapadu and Ongole.

Unable to bear the scorching Sun, he wore a tri-colour turban at Chimakurthi.

Police enforced bandh and directed the shop-keepers all along the route to pull down their shutters. Buses and auto-rickshaws went off the road. Transco officials disrupted power supply along the route to ensure safe passage of high roof bus by which he held the road-show.

People had to put up without power from 10 am on Wednesday. Power supply was restored partially only after 5 pm. Transco officials had to strain themselves for two hours after the road show to reconnect the lines criss-crossing the road to restore power supply along the route.

Hundreds of people thronged his road-shows and responded enthusiastically whenever he mentioned about the achievements of his government or took a dig at the TDP, Left or TRS.

He is expected to make night halt here and leave for Kadapa by helicopter on Thursday morning.