Chandrababu Naidu begins campaign for 'battle of prestige' at Nandyal
Election fever in Nandyal constituency touched new highs on Saturday with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu kickstarting his campaign.
The Nandyal bypoll has been touted to be the single most important election ahead of the 2019 assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh. While the Congress has also fielded a candidate, the real fight is for prestige between the TDP and Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress.
With bypolls merely three days away, Chandrababu Naidu began his two-day formal campaign in the constituency. Naidu will seek votes for his party candidate Bhuma Bramananda Reddy, the nephew of Nagi Reddy whose death left the seat vacant. Before his visit, a van that supposedly carried pantry items for him made it to headlines. Staff travelling with the vehicle refused to open the seal and disclose its contents to the police. The van was later inspected by the election commission officials.
In poll-bound Nandyal, 43 people have been arrested so far for attempting to bribe voters. A total of Rs 12 lakhs has been seized by flying squad members. Those arrested claim to belong to both, the TDP and the YSR Congress. The high stakes bypoll is being touted as the most expensive in recent times in the state. Analysts have pegged expenses at Rs 100 to 300 crore. Each vote, according to Psephologists is being bought for anywhere between Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000.
On Saturday, Chandrababu Naidu minced no words in attacking the YSR Congress. While Jagan Mohan Reddy has visited the constituency multiple times and addressed public meetings, Naidu began his formal interaction on Saturday. Ahead of Naidu's visit, popular actor and TDP leader Balakrishna campaigned in the constituency.
The Nandyal bypoll is crucial for the TDP and YSR Congress to judge the mood of the people ahead of the 2019 assembly elections. The high-stakes bypoll has been promoted to a battle of pride between the two parties with candidates jumping from one party to another to land tickets.