YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is set to enter Vijayawada city on April 14, has a pack of surprises for his party men and others too. The YSR Congress wanted to make it a big when Jagan Mohan Reddy enters the city, which was once seen as the political capital of the State. Even now, Vijayawada is considered the interim capital as Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu does most of his government activities around the city.
The city provides shelter for many and after the birth of the TDP in 1982, the city had been a strong hold of the party shedding its Left base. It was once called a fortress of the Left. Chandra Rajeswara Rao, Putchalapalli Sundaraiah, Makineni Basavapunnaiah and several other top leaders of the Communist movement had their beginnings here. There were several Left extremist leaders who had their base in the city. Kondapalli Sitaramaiah and K G Satyamurthy, who found the naxal movement, had their hideouts in the city. The city also has the glorious past of doing its might for Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha, with people donating money and gold for the national movement. The country’s tricolour which is now the national flag was born here.
But, 1982 had turned the city to be the citadel of the TDP, with majority Kamma community backing the party politically and financially.
Now, to break this base, Jagan Mohan Reddy is planning to have his way into the Kamma community by taking some leaders from the community as he walks his way in the city. The first is former MLA Yalamanchili Ravi who would be taken into the party on April 14 and is likely to be the party candidate for the next elections from the Vijayawada East Constituency. Yalamanchili is a prominent Kamma family in the city politics.
There is one more Kamma family to embrace the YSR Congress during Jagan Mohan Reddy’s visit. Vasantha Krishna Prasad, son of TDP’s former Home Minister Vasantha Nageswara Rao is in queue to join the party. The Vasantha family is popular in Nandigama and Jaggaiahpet constituencies. Rumours say that Krishna Prasad would be the next candidate for Mylavaram constituency which is now held by Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao.
There are strong rumours that another popular Kamma family from Gannavaram area is also looking at the YSR Congress. This family is known to the TDP from its inception but is discarded by Chandrababu Naidu in the recent past. This family is also planning its way to join Jagan Mohan Reddy and these joinings are likely to erase a considerable part of the Kamma base for the TDP.
The irony is that there are some prominent Kamma families from Vijayawada and Guntur cities which are also looking at the BJP. A few names are doing rounds that they would join the BJP in the next few months, thus ending their three-decade old association with the TDP and giving birth to new politics.