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Contrasting styles of rivals in Pulivendula

Ravi Reddy

Vijayamma is the silent campaigner, while Vivekananda stops and delivers brief speeches


Vijayamma is a hit with women, whereas this is not the case with Vivekananda Reddy

In spite of the varying campaign styles, the two rivals flaunt YSR's pictures for votes




Connecting to voters:Vijayamma, widow of former Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, at an election campaign in Kadapa district on Thursday.

PULIVENDULA: With less than eight days to go for what appears to be a no-holds-barred campaign for the by-election to the Pulivendula Assembly seat, the two key contestants, Vijayamma, widow of former Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, and her brother-in-law, Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy, are adopting contrasting styles to seek votes.

If Ms. Vijayamma goes around the constituency silently with folded hands seeking votes for herself and her son, Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy, the candidate for the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat, and signals to the ceiling fan, the party's symbol, Mr. Vivekananda makes it a point to stop and give brief speeches.

Strikes chord

The way they connect to the voters is also different, which this correspondent witnessed during a tour of the constituency on Thursday.

The large number of women who accompany and insist on shaking hands with Ms. Vijayamma indicates that she has struck a chord with them. At Rachakuntapalle hamlet in Vemula mandal, women lined up on both sides of the narrow lanes showering flower petals on her and welcomed her with ‘harathi' and applied ‘kumkum' and ‘thilakam.'

In contrast, Mr. Reddy seems to find it difficult to get as many local party leaders as the former, though people do receive him.

This could be because a number of Congress leaders have crossed over to Ms. Vijayamma's camp. But the fighter that he is, Mr. Reddy remains undeterred.

Whatever the contrasting styles and approaches, both fall back on YSR's image with Mr. Vivekananda Reddy listing the former Chief Minister's people-oriented schemes.

The two political opponents flaunt YSR's pictures leaving the voters confused. Surprisingly, there is no poster of AICC president Sonia Gandhi in Mr. Vivekananda Reddy's motorcade.

Ms. Vijayamma's daughter-in-law, Bharati Reddy, who was campaigning in Velupula village said: “The fight has gone beyond family relationships. It is now a straight fight between Kadapa and Delhi. We feel sorry that our family members are now pitted against each other,” she told The Hindu.

Confident

On the other hand, Mr. Vivekananda Reddy expressed confidence that he would emerge triumphant.

Slogan

Asked about the slogan ‘one vote for him another for his son' (Mr. Jagan), he said there was nothing of that sort but hastened to add that some of his supporters may be raising it.

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