Campaigning for the Lok Sabha election 2014 in Andhra Pradesh has picked up as main parties like Telugu Desam, Congress, YSR Congress and BJP have started to hold poll rallies. Andhra Pradesh is to vote for both Lok Sabha and State Assembly simultaneously in two phases on 30 April and 7 May, 2014.
Two big electioneering rallies were slated to be held in Andhra Pradhesh on 12 March, one by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Visakhapatnam and another by former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy in Rajahmundray, on the same east coast of AP. Reddy is to formally launch his new party "Samaikhyandhra" at the meeting.
Kiran Reddy is to release his party's election symbol, ideals and other details at the meeting. Expelled Congress MPs and leaders have announced support to Kiran Reddy and the new party is expected to spell out more about its future course of action at the rally.
TDP's "Praja Garjana" poll rally has been planned in Visakhapatnam (Vizag) city's Beach Road on Wednesday and several leaders from other parties like Congress are going to join on the platform. Former minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, MLAs UV Ramana Murthy Raju, M Srinivasa Rao, C Venkatramaiah and P Rameshbabu from Congress are expected to join TDP at the rally.
Another key party in the state, YSR Congress, has planned its state-wide election campaign strategy by the party's chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy. His mother YS Vijayamma is to campaign in Telangana, his sister Sharmila in coastal Andhra and Jagan himself has decided to campaign in Rayalaseema districts. His party is expected to give a tough fight to TDP and Congress in Rayalaseema districts.
Before formally carving out Telangana state out of AP, the Congress has appointed two chiefs to the party's pradesh Congress committees (PCCs) - one for Telangana and another for Seemandhra. Raghuveera Reddy has been appointed as the president of Seemandhra PCC and Ponnala Lakshmaiah has been given the in-charge of Telangana PCC. Both are ministers in the dissolved AP assembly.
On its part, BJP, which has gained some ground in AP with the Telangana episode, is likely to have an electoral alliance with TDP this time. TDP has already expressed its willingness to have a poll tie-up with BJP. Arun Jaitley, BJP's senior leader, has recently indicated that the party will have an electoral alliance in the general assembly election. In Telangana, the electioneering is yet to pick up in a full swing, though Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is expected to lead the poll prospects.
Meanwhile, popular actor and "power star" Pawan Kalyan is expected to reveal more about his political intentions and the launch of a new political party at Hitex Grounds, Madhapur, Hyderabad on 14 March. It is said that his new party's name would be "Jana Sena".
(Edited by Vishnuprasad S Pillai)