Battle ground Secunderabad
If all the world was a stage, as Shakespeare said, playing the successful politician is one of the most demanding acts. As a natural actress, Jaysudha has charmed two generations of film lovers in the state but she knows fully well the demands of her new role. Having been around in the film industry for close to four decades ,Jayasudha understands that it pays to be different and to her credit she has gone about her job in her own way to win the Secunderabad Assembly seat.
Yet to utter an angry word, Jayasudha has steered clear of controversy. Leveraging her image as a social worker, Jayasudha has tried to project herself as a politician with a difference. Not much of an orator, she relies on her plain talk to strike a chord with the voters. Being a Christian, she is expected to find favour with the sizeable Christian community in Secunderabad. She enjoys a considerable fan following among the women and her rallies have had women turning up in good numbers. Of the total electorate of 195727, women form 96,569 votes and could well play a big role in swinging the verdict in her favour.
On the flip side, pitted against a formidable incumbent, T Srinivas Yadav of the TDP, Jayasudha does have quite a task on her hand. He is well-networked in the working class localities and she is a glamorous star of yesteryear who has tried to carve out a new identity among the middle classes as a persona with a social outlook.
It’s not as if Srinivas Yadav has not been bearded in his den earlier. He lost the seat to the relatively unknown Padma Rao of the TRS in 2004 before winning it back in the byelection of 2008.
The contest this time could be closer than expected too. It is a predominantly middle class constituency. Narrow lanes, dusty bylanes, poor sewerage, dangling electric wires, power cuts and irregular water supply are common complaints in this segment which still has some of the remnants of the Raj.
With S Ramesh Chandra (BJP) and Akla Maharani (LSP) and S Yellanna (BSP) in the fray, the contenders are many and they could all play a big part in swinging the verdict either way.
In politics, women tend to try to radiate the image of a battle axe, but Jayasudha is not going to do that. She’s comfortable in her skin and serious about her purpose. She’s not the kind who will do a photo op and leave the rest to what is called the wisdom of the voter. She means what she says: that we are all here to do some work, and the best way to go about it is to be civil to each other and let each do his work. Diehard political hands will tell her that that’s no way to win an election. She’s the kind who’ll tell them that the only worthwhile way of winning an election is to be honest. Novices have won elections.
That was probably why they were fielded in the first place.