The bye-election in Nandyal has been necessitated by the death of Nagi Reddy, Akhila's father, who had defected to the TDP.

Andhras Nandyal bye-poll heats up Minister Akhila Priya invokes fathers name as CM campaigns
news Politics Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 17:38

With campaigning for the Nandyal bye-poll heating up, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya on Saturday lashed out against the YSRCP and urged voters to sweep the opposition party out of the constituency.

Akhila Priya also invoked her father, Bhuma Nagi Reddy's name, and said that he would have been pleased with Nandyal's growth under Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

She was speaking in the presence of CM Naidu, who began his campaign tour for the TDP candidate Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy, who is Akhila Priya's cousin. There are only a few days left for the election on August 23.

The bye-election in Nandyal has been necessitated by the death of Nagi Reddy, who had defected to the TDP along with Akhila Priya, the Allagadda MLA, after winning on a YSRCP ticket.

Heaping praise on Naidu for sanctioning several developmental works in the constituency, Akhila Priya said, "Today, if my father, Bhuma Nagi Reddy was alive, he would have been very happy."

"I can even say that his soul may be resting in peace, because he always insisted that the CM should visit the Nandyal constituency, and today he has come here to meet the people," she added.

She also lashed out against personal attacks being carried out by the YSRCP President YS Jaganmohan Reddy.

"When the CM is busy with many developmental works, Jagan has been asking us to 'shoot' and 'hang' the CM, instead of talking about the welfare of the people," she said.

On August 3, addressing a massive public meeting at Nandyal town, Jagan had said, “A person like Chandrababu Naidu should be shot in public.” Since then, Jagan has called for Naidu's 'hanging' twice, for 'failing to keep his promises'.

His comments triggered outrage across the state, with the Election Commission also issuing a notice to Jagan.

"I am asking, why should he be hung? He is working tirelessly for the benefit of people," Akhila Priya said.

She also pointed fingers at YSRCP candidate Silpa Mohan Reddy, and alleged, "They gave a ticket to the person who is responsible for my father's death. I am asking you to use your vote, and drive out the Silpa family, not just from Nandyal, but from Kurnool district itself." 

Silpa Mohan Reddy, a former Andhra minister and two-time Nandyal MLA, was a long-time rival of Bhuma Reddy, and had strongly opposed his defection to the TDP. Akhila Priya's hyperbolic accusation that Silpa was responsible for Bhuma Reddy's death refers to the enmity between the two politicians. 

Upset at the defection, and a cabinet seat being awarded to Akhila Priya, Silpa had defected to the YSRCP from the TDP in June this year, and was announced as the party's candidate.

Akhila Priya appealed to the voters to vote for TDP candidate and her cousin Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy. 

On Friday, both the TDP and the YSRCP approached the Election Commission, and filed complaints accusing each other of violating the poll code.

TDP MPs alleged that media outlet Sakshi, which is owned and managed by YSRCP leaders, was printing paid articles in its newspaper against the TDP.

On the other hand, the YSRCP filed a complaint against actor-politician Nandamuri Balakrishna, after footage showed the Hindupur TDP MLA allegedly distributing money to locals, while campaigning for the bye-election.

Both the parties have made the bye-election a prestige issue, as it is being seen as a referendum on the three-year rule of the TDP. It is also expected to indicate which way the winds are blowing in the run-up to the 2019 elections.

The Election Commission said that Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) will be used in the bye-elections in all the polling stations.



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