A bunch of children playing in Vempally village say they would vote for Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy if they could.
Vempally comes under the Pulivendula Assembly segment and is located on the way to Idupulapaya, the final resting place of former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR). The elders of the village have maintained a close relationship with the Yeduguri family, and they are clear on what they must do on April 11.
“Jagan was in tears when his paternal uncle Vivekananda Reddy was murdered. He said that his family is becoming smaller and getting scattered. We too cried,” said Veeranjaneyulu, a farmer and a mason by caste. His family is angry and refuses to believe what Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu is saying.
“Naidu said that Jagan’s family is behind the gruesome murder. But no, TDP was angry because Vivekananda Reddy started canvassing in Jammalamadugu, the enemy territory,” Kondareddy of Vemula village, close to Pulivendula, adds.
The sentiment is the same in Simhadripuram, Lingala, Thondur and Chakrayapet blocks also. The families in the constituency have an inseparable emotional connect with the YSR family.
The grip of the YSR family on the Assembly segment and the entire Kadapa district, now named as YSR Kadapa, began way back in 1978.
Since then YS Rajasekhara Reddy, YSP Reddy, YS Vivekananda Reddy, YS Vijayamma and now YS Jaganmohan Reddy have kept the constituency with them.
Jagan won the seat with a huge margin of 75,243 votes over his rival SV Satish Kumar Reddy of the TDP in 2014.
“YSRCP is steeped in faction politics and has divided voters in the name of faction. We have to teach them a lesson by breaking those barriers,” said Satish Kumar Reddy while campaigning in Velamavaripalle under Vempally block. His wife Sumathi is also doing door-to-door campaigning for her husband.
Recently, Jagan visited Pulivendula when his uncle was killed and later, to file nominations.
For the YSR family loyalty of the people is paramount. The Assembly segment has no industries, no commercial activity and above all no green cover.
“We depend on bore water. Only recently TDP government gave water into our canals," a farmer in Duggannagari Palle said.
When asked why not change the MLA, he said that would be like cheating the departed soul of YSR.