With nearly a month to go for the election results, top politicians in Andhra Pradesh are headed to different tourism destinations for a much-needed break after weeks of grueling campaigning under the sun and in the dust.
Both Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and his main rival Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy have finally got a breather from the hectic campaigning across the length and breadth of the state.
The main contenders of power in Andhra Pradesh, which went to simultaneous polls for the Assembly and the Lok Sabha on April 11, have taken some time off to relax in the cool environs of their respective destinations along with their families.
Naidu, who is the President of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), was leaving for Himachal Pradesh on Friday for a summer vacation along with his family members, while YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) President Jagan Mohan Reddy was holidaying in Switzerland for the last two days along with his wife Bharati and two daughters.
Though it has been two weeks since the polling got over in the state, both the leaders kept themselves busy, albeit for different reasons.
After receiving feedback from the party leaders and candidates in a series of review meetings, they drew their own calculations about the possible outcome and exuded confidence of winning the elections.
Elections to the 175-member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats were held in a single phase on April 11. The counting of votes will be done on May 23 after the completion of all the seven phases of Lok Sabha polls across the country.
Immediately after the polling, Naidu had become busy in taking on the Election Commission of India over what he called its failure to conduct the polling in a smooth and efficient manner.
He dashed off to Delhi and lodged his protest with the poll panel over the malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and held meeting with non-BJP parties to reiterate the demand for the counting of 50 percent VVPAT slips and taking steps to make the EVMs tamper-proof.
Naidu, who turned 69 on April 20, also visited Karnataka a couple of times where he campaigned for the Janata Dal (S)-Congress combine.
The TDP chief also went to Chennai where he met the DMK leadership and appealed to the voters in Tamil Nadu to defeat the AIADMK-BJP alliance.
He then visited Mumbai to show support for the NCP-Congress alliance where he also held discussions over the issue of faulty EVMs.
After the elections, Jagan spent plenty of time relaxing at his residence in Hyderabad. He also celebrated Easter with his family before leaving for a foreign trip after the court hearing cases related to disproportionate assets granted him permission for the same.
For Jagan, this was a much-needed break as he had been busy with the state-wide ‘padayatra’ (foot march) for more than a year.
Jagan’s 14-month-long ‘padayatra’ concluded in January after which he got busy with election preparations. The YSRCP chief covered a distance of 3,648 km on foot in what many are claiming to be the longest foot march by any political leader.
According to the YSRCP leaders, the ‘padayatra’ and the subsequent election campaign took a toll on the 46-year-old leader. Jagan also suffered sunburn during his visits to the remote villages.
Other leaders of the two rival parties were also headed to different tourist destinations, both within the country and abroad.
Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh, who made his poll debut in the Assembly elections, is said to be holidaying abroad along with his family members.
State Ministers, outgoing MPs, MLAs, and leaders, who were in charge of the campaigns for their respective political outfits, have also left for various destinations for a much-needed break.
They are set to return before the counting of votes with renewed energy, hoping to make it to the corridors of power.