Hyderabad: In the season of merry-making and feasting, Andhra Pradesh politics is all about fasting instead.
First it was Chandrababu Naidu’s fast and now, Jaganmohan Reddy, who recently announced his divorce from the Congress party, has begun a 48-hour hunger strike in Vijayawada today.
Former Congress leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy today launched his 48-hour hunger strike demanding adequate compensation to farmers who had lost their crops in heavy rains early this month in Andhra Pradesh.
The former Kadapa MP, who turns 38 today, began the fast along with his supporters on the banks of river Krishna here
Jagan, who reached Vijayawada from Nandyal in Kurnool district early in the morning, visited the Kanaka Durga temple and worshiped the Goddess.
Jagan’s first political campaign after he quit the Congress is called the Lakshya Deeksha. Lakshya also means lakh, for the lakhs expected to attend. Arrangements are being made for about one lakh people at the venue.
Jagan is sitting on hunger strike on a huge stage on the banks of the Krishna river, with big tents pitched and scores of people already gathered. A massive Jagan hoarding dominates the scene.
There are Jagan’s posters all over Vijayawada and there is cause to worry for the Congress with the likelihood of about five party MPs and 20 MLAs being present. Jagan’s campaign has the tacit support of quite a few Congressman.
Earlier, Jagan held a closed-door meeting with the legislators at the state guest house.
MLAs Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, Jayasudha Kapoor, G Srikanth Reddy, Konda Surekha, Alla Nani, N Prasanna Kumar Reddy, Dwarampudi Chandrasekhar Reddy, Gurunatha Reddy, Ramachandra Reddy, MLCs Pulla Padmavathi, Konda Murali, Jupudi Prabhakar, actress Roja, actors Vijayachander, Dharmavarapu Subrahmanyam, former minister Konatala Ramakrishna, NTR’s widow Lakshmi Parvathi and others were present on the dais along with Jagan.
Jagan is tapping into huge political potential. Farmers in the coastal belt lost much of their Kharif crop in the rains. They are so desperate that they will take any help that comes their way and many say they also want to see YSR Reddy’s son in flesh and blood.