KADAPA: The Congress got a drubbing in the marquee Lok Sabha byelection in Kadapa on Friday where Jaganmohan Reddy trounced his Congress and TDP opponents by record margins.
Riding a wave of ill-treatment of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's family by the party high command, his widow Vijayamma, too, crushed the Congress in Pulivendula assembly byelection.
"Kadapa's gouravam (pride) has smashed Delhi's ahankaram (ego)," said a political analyst, referring to the platform on which Jagan campaigned and won by a majority of 5,45,571 votes. His rivals, Andhra Pradesh health minister D L Ravindra Reddy and Rajya Sabha member M V Mysoora Reddy (TDP), lost their deposits.
Vijayamma defeated her brother-in-law Y S Vivekananda Reddy by 85,191 votes. In the process, she, too, improved on YSR's assembly poll record. Viveka lost his deposit making it the Congress's first defeat in this seat.
Jagan surpassed his late father's victory, which was by a margin of 4.22 lakh votes in the 1991 Lok Sabha elections. "This shows a wave of change in the district where the YSR family ruled for nearly four decades. The thrashing ought to serve as an eye-opener for the Congress," said a political analyst, R Chakrapani.
While the TDP, which traditionally has a 30% vote share in Kadapa, was humiliated, the Congress with a votebank of 50-55% has ceded ground to YSR Congress which bagged 69% In Pulivendula, it polled 74% votes.
"The shift in the vote percentage is significant as both TDP and Congress voter base has eroded massively," said an analyst, Telkapalli Ravi.
"The verdict is a slap on the face of Congress which totally ignored people's issues and problems," said Jagan, adding, "This result sounds the bugle for the downfall of the Congress government in Andhra." He added, "Everybody is taking about the downfall of this inept Congress government as people are fed up with it."