For the third time in its history, Nandyal is hogging national limelight. The first time was in 1977, when only Nandyal sent a Janata party candidate in Lok Sabha poll. Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, who was the only Janata Party candidate to win, went on to become a president.
The second time was when PV Narasimha Rao contested from Nandyal Lok Sabha seat. He trounced BJP's Bangaru Laxman by over four lakh votes. Now, the YSRCP-TDP war for the assembly seat is being watched with lot of interest.
The outcome of Nandyal bypoll will determine who will form the government in Andhra Pradesh in 2019 assembly elections. Hence, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is doing everything at his command and is pitting all the big names in the government in Nandyal. For every street in Nandyal, a senior state-level leader has been appointed as the incharge. He himself is constantly monitoring the campaign in Nandyal on a daily basis.
But there is another reason why Nandyal will go down in the history. Chandrababu is said to be spending up to Rs 70 crores to win this election. Scores of offices have been set up and an estimated Rs 3000 is spent on each of these office on a daily basis. Those joining the party campaign on paid Rs 250 a day. All this will go on till August 23.
In addition, the local youth associations are being given donations and equipment like sports gear. If the sources are to be believed, one vote could cost anything between Rs 1000 to Rs 5000.
The TDP is said to ''rent'' workers for its road shows and campaigns. On many occasions, non-locals have been roped in from other constituencies to show crowds. They are being paid on a regular basis. On Thursday, TDP leaders were clicked distributing tokens to hired workers in Ward No 42 of Nandyal town. The TDP leaders were left red-faced when these images were published in the media.
Nandyal bypoll will sure be remembered for the money power that the TDP unleashed.