YSR turns to urban issues
After spending the morning in Ugadi festivities, chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy hit the road in the afternoon, touring constitutencies in and around the city. His campaign accordingly turned urban in contrast with the districtly rural tone of his speeches on the first two days of his campaign.
At LB Nagar, a suburb of Hyderabad with a strong component of the middle class among the voting population, the chief minister struck the note of 'vidya, vaidya, udyogam'. "Education is something that nobody can steal from you," he said and outlined the several measures his government has taken to promote education among all classes. Chie4f among these were the fee reimbursement given to students of BC, SC, ST, minority sections and the poor among forward castes. He said his government has given Rs 30,000 fee subsidy to students of engineering colleges and Rs 50,000 to those of medical colleges.
The chief minister's main pitch to the voters was: here he was after five years of hard work, and he would like to be judged for his work. "I have given you five years of good governance, and now I stand before you for your verdict."
Rajasekhara Reddy did not bother to attack Chandrababu Naidu or Chiranjeevi, as he had done in his first two days. The reason might have been that such criticism was not apt for a predominantly urban constituency. All the same, the turnout for the speech was large and the response enthusiastic.
The chief minister staked his claim to the social justice vote -- on a day on which Chiranjeevi's party declared its first list -- by giving the audience the example of Sarve Satyanarayana, a Madiga, who has been fielded as the Lok Sabha Candidate here, although it is not a reserved constituency.
As for campaign style, the chief minister added an element of interactivity to the event by asking the crowd a question and inviting a response. "Arogyasree valla meeku melu jariginda leada?" he asked.
"Yes!" said the crowd.