First, we saw this scene when Jagan came out of Jail to vote in the Presidential elections. Then we saw the same scene repeat at the Sirisilla dharna by YSRC amidst stone pelting and loud protests from the TRS. And before this there was the by-election campaign.
The scene we talk about is YS Vijayalakshmi, the honorary president of YSR Congress Party, giving political speeches with a Bible in hand. The YSR family did not exactly shy away from their Christian faith earlier but they were also never so open in publicly displaying their Christian faith when in the Congress Party. Now there is a new party so there is a new campaign at work.
YS Jagan’s sister Sharmila is married to an evangelic Christian preacher, Brother Anil. Anil claims to perform miracles like curing illness and causing rains in his massive public meetings but the only truly unexplained miracle is how he got his benami companies to get the massively profitable Bayyaram mining lease.) There have also been serious allegations that the Pastor network in AP was openly campaigning for the YSRC during Church speeches. Other popular evangelics like KA Paul have now been reduced to state of jokers, allegedly to make Brother Anil the No.1 Christian preacher in the state. (Paul even claimed yesterday that Jagan was trying to kill him.)
There can of course be no problem with a politician’s individual faith. But the Party, while claiming to be secular, is running a subtle campaign to tell the Christian voters at every instance that “we are all of the same faith”. Since the formation of YSR Congress party, there has been a very strong attempt to consolidate the Christian vote which is quite substantial in AP even if the official census don’t reflect this for various reasons. During the recently held by-election campaign, Vijayamma began publicly giving speeches with a Bible in hand and a number of voters in some areas and a number of Dalit Christians turned up for the elction meetings clutching their Bibles.
Sinful Words With A Holy Book in Hand – TRS
TRS Politburo member Errolla Srinivas alleged yesterday that despite holding a Bible, YS Vijayalakshmi went on to tell blatant lies about the YSR regime and Telangana. He even went on to say that for this Jesus Christ and Mother Mary would never forgive Vijayalakshmi’s family. He demanded that the Vijayalakshmi come clean and apologise to Jesus Christ first and then to the people of Telangana.
YSRC is a Communal Party – TDP
TDP Secretary Varla Ramaiah commenting on the issue said that there now was a communal party in the state to compete with the BJP. He also added that the holy book was being desecrated by being used as a prop in YSR Congress Party’s political rallies and demanded the Party explain why they were resorting to this kind of communal propoganda.