With five days to go for the elections in Seemandhra — the only chunk south of the Vindhyas still to go to the polls — BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and his partners TDP chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu and Janasena chief and Telugu film star Pawan Kalyan took the region by storm on Thursday.
Though the TDP-BJP alliance with Pawan’s support was present in Telangana too, the combine’s major expectations lie in Seemandhra which has 25 Lok Sabha seats, most of which look likely to go with the TDPBJP combine.
As for Naidu, it’s a make or break election. If he doesn’t win the assembly election — 175 seats — it would be his third successive defeat in the state and might push him into political oblivion forever.
So, despite the scorching heat, the trio of Modi, Naidu and Kalyan addressed five back-to-back rallies across Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra — at Madanapalle, Nellore, Guntur, Bhimavaram and Visakhapatnam — on Thursday.
At one of the rallies, Modi quipped to youths climbing poles to get a glimpse of him: “Please climb down from those poles. I am already accused of being a polariser.”
Naidu shifted from his middle path — rapprochement between the two regions — to stoke the Seemandhra anger lest it subside. “The way they (Congress) divided the state is brutal. Let your grouse show,” Naidu told audiences, asking them to vote for him as CM to make Seemandhra a Swarnandhra and not a Scam-andhra by voting for Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress.
Taking a cue from Naidu, Modi told people to vote for the TDPBJP alliance and that he would be there in Delhi as a guardian to take care of Seemandhra. “Trust me. I have come with a plan, not a promise,” he said.
Modi also stoked the Telugu self-respect by reminding how the Congress leadership has been insulting the Andhra leaders – former CM T Anjaiah, former president Sanjeeva Reddy and recently former PM PV Narasimha Rao. He accused the UPA-1 as refusing to give two square feet of land in Delhi for the former PM who turned around the national economy.