VIJAYAWADA: The river town of Vijayawada turned into a sea of humanity on Tuesday with more than two lakh people thronging the banks of Krishnaveni to take part in the mass hunger strike launched by former Kadapa MP Jaganmohan Reddy.
Roads, lanes, bylanes and even the national highways leading to Vijayawada city were packed with continuous stream of crowds entering the city. “Just like the incessant rains had washed away the crops, the massive turnout on the banks of the Krishna will wash away the dirty Congress and the opposition TDP,” thundered film actor Vijayachander at the meeting.
Half of the ground spread over nearly 18 acres was filled even before Jagan reached the venue in the morning.
The parking lots provided by the organizers and the police were chockablock with vehicles leaving thousands of others stranded on the highways.
This had forced the APSRTC to divert all Hyderabad-bound buses from Chennai, Nellore, Ongole buses via Addanki, Narasaraopet, Miryalaguda and Nalgonda routes.
Police in Prakasam district diverted heavy vehicles through different routes such as Repalle varadhi and Addanki-Narketpalle routes.
With the mad rush swelling and jostling with each other to meet Jagan via a small passage provided to greet him from a close range, the organizers feared that it could lead to a stampede. Chief architect of the deeksha programme, Bhumana Karunakara Reddy repeatedly appealed to the people to maintain calm and take part in the deeksha to avoid stampede.
“Jaganmohan Reddy has once again proved that he is the biggest crowd-puller in the state and the roaring success of “Lakshya deeksha” is going to be a vital moment in his political journey,” commented M Samuel, a professor at Acharya Nagarjuna University in Guntur.
While leaders from Krishna district, the host district, were out of action with legislator Jogi Ramesh’s brother Ramu meeting Jagan at the guest house and apologizing for his brother’s absence, former legislators from the district — S Udayabhanu, Meka Pratap Apparao and Jaleel Khan, however, took the centrestage. “Our Lakshya deeksha is a success as people from rural areas attended the deeksha in massive numbers and our leader is going to be a winner in the final battle with the support of farmers,” claimed an aide of Jagan.
YSR legacy and charisma worked magic as the crowds lustily cheered and shouted slogans whenever the speakers took the name of the late CM.
(The Times of India – 22nd Dec 2010)