The Congress appears to have given up any semblance of fight in the Parkal bypolls.
Convinced that it is not in a position to face either the YSR Congress (whose candidate Konda Surekha’s resignation caused the bypoll), or TRS or BJP banking on the separate state sentiment, the ruling party’s leadership has quietly left the campaigning to the local leaders. As a result, while the defeat of ruling party candidate S Samme Rao appears to be a foregone conclusion, even diehard Congressmen are unsure if he would be able to retain his deposit.
Party insiders admit that the Congress has nothing to offer to the Telangana people in lieu of votes for its candidate in Parkal, the only constituency from the region going to the bypolls on June 12.
Till date, no state leader of merit has set foot in Parkal to campaign for the Congress candidate. The attempt of chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy to do so on May 21 ended in a disaster after a huge tent at the election meeting got blown away due to stormy weather and a commotion forced the curtailment of the event.
While star campaigner Chiranjeevi kept away apprehending a hostile electorate, the region’s central minister S Jaipal Reddy was also not roped in by the party while in contrast, Union ministers D Purandeswari and Panabaka Lakshmi campaigned extensively for the Congress candidates in Andhra region. Even AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, who spent three days campaigning in Rayalaseema and coastal Nellore, had no time to show up in Parkal town.
According to the sources, the other leader who is not active in the elections is local MLC Rajalingam.
As a result, the Parkal bypoll is likely to see a straight fight between the TRS and YSR Congress.