Chilakaluripet, Apr 23: Congress leaders including Y S Rajasekhar Reddy for once are campaigning against their symbol — ‘Hand’. Strange it may sound but this is what the Congress leaders are actually doing in the Chilakaluripet Assembly constituency.
The reason? The official Congress candidate got the ‘Rail Engine’ as his symbol while the rebel was allotted the ‘Hand’. AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, incharge of the State affairs, was so annoyed with the development that he refused to canvass for the party candidate. “I do not want to appeal to people to vote against the Hand,” he reportedly told party leaders when they brought pressure on him to campaign.
However, YSR who participated in the his Jaitra Yatra appealed to people to vote for the ‘Rail Engine’ and ignore the ‘Hand’. The Congress originally gave the B-Form to TDP Person ignoring the demand from the Marri Rajasekhar’s gro-up. Following this Rajasekhar’s followers manhandled TDP Person. As local pressure mounted on the Congress Central leadership, it decided to field Rajasekhar as the official candidate.
Later TDP Person agreed to withdraw. The Congress leaders took him to the returning officer on April 7 for withdrawal of his nomination. But then it was 3 pm and the RO refused to accept the withdrawal application on the ground that the deadline was over. Quite interestingly, TDP Person is also urging voters not to cast votes for the ‘Hand’.