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CM launches campaign, leads cycle rally

By R. Jagadeeswara Rao

RAJAHMUNDRY, FEB. 9. " Chesindi--Choodandi, Chusinde-Nammandi" (see what we did and believe only what you see) is the new slogan given by the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, for the ensuing election. Implied in this slogan is the appeal to people not to be carried away by propaganda, evidently of the Opposition parties.

Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, whose mood was visibly upbeat, formally launched his election campaign at the Government Arts College ground here today, by inaugurating the TDP flag festival which is being organised by the party in all the 294 Assembly constituencies in the State. It is also for the first time after the Alipiri attack on him that the Chief Minister had led a cycle rally covering a distance of four km. People in large numbers lined the entire route to see "the Chief Minister going on a cycle." The Chief Minister took exactly 90 minutes to cover the distance.

"I did not feel even an iota of exhaustion after covering 4 km, on the contrary, seeing the response, specially of women along the route, I felt invigorated," the Chief Minister said while addressing a well-attended public meeting at the Pushkaralarevu on the bank of the Godavari. Explaining why he started his campaign from Rajahmundry, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu recalled how in 1982 when the party was launched and in 1994 the then party president, N.T. Rama Rao, had started the election campaign from Rajahmundry and bagged more than 200 Assembly seats on both occasions. "We have a sentiment that starting the election campaign here would give us good results. We should improve on that number," Mr. Naidu said, while responding to a question at a press meet earlier.

Incidentally, before boarding the specially-made bicycle and unfurling the party flag, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu offered puja at the temple of Ganesh. A white horse was also pressed into service. With a big party flag on its back, it actually led the cycle rally.

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