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Foundations and publicity campaigns

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familiar ground: A view of the crowd at Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s public meeting in Adilabad.
familiar ground: A view of the crowd at Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s public meeting in Adilabad.

S. Harpal Singh

Like TDP, Congress follows the foundation stones, promotions path

ADILABAD: Neither size of the crowd nor the enthusiasm of people who had gathered at public meetings of important political leaders like the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues five year ago is any different. But for switched sides, the players in the political arena are also the same.

The first quarter of the year 2004 saw the then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu frequently visiting Adilabad district with Cabinet Ministers in tow to lay a plethora of foundation stones.

Foundations were laid for schemes that were not even conceptualised properly. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy too displays a similar proclivity for laying foundation stones in Adilabad district.

During his January 27 visit, the present Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy laid nearly 20 foundation stones at four different places, which looks one too many in a single visit.

The period just prior to the 2004 elections was the time when TDP government exhibited confidence of being returned to power despite facing corruption charges. Allegations of corruption centred around the Food For Work (FFW) programme that ultimately turned out to be the nemesis of the invincible looking Adilabad MP S. Venugopalachary and all the six TDP MLAs in the district.

The Congress government is also confident of winning another term though faced with corruption allegations, especially in programmes like Jalayagnam.

“The difference in scale of corruption then and now is massive,” points out TDP’s Adilabad district president Gone Hanmanth Rao. The spending on publicity campaigns for which the TDP government was criticised is no different now. A beaming Rajasekhara Reddy can be found on RTC buses in Adilabad district and important Congress leaders on hoardings and banners proclaiming the efficacy of his welfare programmes akin to what Chandrababu Naidu had done.

The Congress like the TDP in the past is sure of the women’s vote which is evident from the ‘pampering’ that the section undergoes at every political meeting.

Only time will tell whether the Congress has gauged the mood of people or women for that matter correctly.


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