YSR kicks off Congress campaign in Andhra Pradesh

March 25th, 2009 - 8:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, March 25 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Wednesday launched the Congress’ election campaign in the state.
After garlanding statues of national leaders in the city and offering prayers at a temple, a ‘dargah’ and a church, he reached Chevella in the neighbouring Ranga Reddy district, where he kicked off the campaign by addressing a public meeting.

YSR, as the chief minister is popularly known, has an emotional attachment with Chevella and during last five years he launched every tour and new programme from this place.

It was from here that he had launched the successful ‘padyatra’ (walk) in 2003 as the then opposition leader. During the 64-day long walkathon, he covered 1,600 km to know the people’s problems. The next year saw the Congress party coming to power with a massive majority.

“This place is close to my heart. I have come here to seek your blessings for another yatra,” he told people at the rally.

Under the first phase of ‘Jaitra yatra’, as the election campaign has been christened, the chief minister will cover five districts till March 31.

At the launch of the campaign, he was accompanied by Minister for Mines and Geology P. Sabita Indra Reddy, whom he considers as his younger sister.

Indra Reddy tied a ‘rakhi’ (traditional band tied by sister on her brother’s wrist) on his hand. Describing YSR as “people’s star”, she said no film star was a match for him.

YSR is leading his party’s campaign for the next month’s assembly and Lok Sabha elections though the campaigning by the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is dominated by film stars and family members of party founder N.T. Rama Rao.

Film star Chiranjeevi is leading the campaign of his Praja Rajyam Party.

While launching the campaign, the chief minister sought another term for the Congress on the basis of its performance during last five years.

He listed out the schemes implemented by his government including free electricity to farmers, Rs.2 a kg rice, building of houses for poor, waiver of farmers’ loans and “Arogyasri” or community health insurance scheme.

YSR alleged that TDP was misleading people with promises. “Why Chandrababu Naidu did not implement any scheme for people’s welfare during his nine-year rule,” he asked and claimed that the Congress had fulfilled all the promises it made in 2004.

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