YSRCP chief Jagan to seek father’s blessings before embarking on battle of ballots

Hyderabad: YSR Congress Party chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will embark on his campaign for the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh by paying tributes to his father Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy, iconic Telugu leader, on March 16 at his memorial in Idupulapaya.

He will also start his ‘Bus Yatra’ from Idupulapaya on the day for the state, which is going to witness a multi-cornered contest in the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, with major players being Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Congress, and BJP, apart from YSRCP.

On Sunday, Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the schedule for 17th Lok Sabha election which will be held in seven phases beginning April 11. The final phase of voting will take place on May 19. The counting of votes will be done on May 23.

According to party leaders, Reddy is planning to address public meetings in three Assembly constituencies a day till March 24, which will go up to four thereafter. In Andhra Pradesh, 25 Lok Sabha seats are at stake, while the strength of Vidhan Sabha is 175.

Given the role of emotions attached with iconic leaders and their families in south India, Jagan Reddy’s mother and YSRCP’s honorary president YS Vijayamma and sister YS Sharmila are also likely to campaign with him.

It is worth noting that YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who was popular with the state’s people as YSR, helmed AP’s affairs as the chief minister from 2004 till his death. He also represented Kadapa Lok Sabha seat for four terms and was also a member of Legislative Assembly for many terms.

Reddy hogged the limelight in 2003 when he undertook a three-month-long ‘padayatra’ of nearly 1,500-km during sweltering summer months. He died in a helicopter crash in September 2009. Over 100 people reportedly committed suicide across the state after the news of his death was broken.