Running a unique campaign Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has addressed letters to each of the families residing within Tirupati Parliamentary seat, listing various welfare schemes extended to them while urging the family members to vote for his party in the upcoming bypoll.

Tirupati is witnessing a triangular fight with YSRCP, TDP and BJP supported by Jana Sena fielding candidates for the seat which fell vacant after the death of the YSRCP MP from Covid-19. Although YSRCP has performed well in the recent local body polls it is wary of the Hindutva campaign run by TDP and BJP, harping on temple attacks in the state as well as accusing the CM, a practising Christian, a free run to missionaries looking to convert people. The YSRCP is banking on its welfare schemes introduced by the chief minister in the past two years to sail through.

The chief minister signed the first of the letters today on the eve of the polls slated for 17 April. According to the CM’s office the letter, more like a four-page booklet, is addressed to an individual family and contains a detailed list of all government-run welfare schemes that the respective family benefited from, along with an appeal to vote for YSRCP candidate Gurumurthy.

According to the CMO it is a departure from existing political custom of criticising and bad-mouthing opponents and seek votes on the basis of the performance of the government and development work since assuming office 22 months ago.

However, undaunted by the approach, the state BJP unit which is pinning hopes on the Tirupati seat to secure a foothold in the state, today sharpened its attack on the chief priest Ramana Dikshitulu who was removed by TDP and reinstated by Reddy prior to the polls, for describing the CM as incarnation of Vishnu.

BJP’s national secretary and co-incharge of AP tweeted the chief priest has insulted the deity and the devotees by “calling an on-bail chief minister” an incarnation of Vishnu. He has tarnished the sanctity of the post of chief priest, thundered Deodhar who was joined by another BJP senior GVL Narasimha Rao in condemning the statement.