Ahead of the Andhra Pradesh elections, both to Lok Sabha general and state Assembly, both the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Opposition Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) are in the midst of a battle to outdo each other in announcing freebies.

A day after the state Budget doubled the monthly pensions for senior citizens YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy who accused Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu of “copying” his promises announced he would further hike it to Rs 3000 if voted to power. He also iterated that YSRCP would contest the polls alone without entering into an alliance.

Reddy has started preparatory meetings for booth level cadres of his party in all the 13 districts of the state.

The first meeting of Samar Sankharavam, a sort of a bugle call to the cadres to start poll preparations was held at Tirupati on Wednesday. Around 42,000 booth level cadres of YSRCP attended the meeting.

Naidu, an astute politician has sought to turn the tables on his bete noire by implementing some of the nine promises made by Reddy while he was marched across the state on foot. The YSRCP chief tried to re-assure his cadres saying that Naidu was rolling out one script after another at to hold on to power.

He said, “Imitation has limitation” and it does not diminishes the value of the original. He reminded his supporters of Congress Chief Minister Kotla Vijay Bhaskar Reddy who started distributing rice at Rs1.90 six months before elections after N T Rama Rao promised people to give rice at Rs2 per kilo. However, he could not stop the victory of NT Rama Rao in the elections.

According to Reddy, his supporters should neither believe in what BJP, Congress was saying nor what Jana Sena was preaching as they will be able to win all the 25 parliamentary seats in the Andhra Pradesh elections on their own. Reddy who lost the 2014 polls is keen to win the contest this time and its outcome can make or break his party.