Attack On Leaders: What History Says?


CM YS Jagan Mohan is currently recovering from the injury that he sustained to his forehead last night after a miscreant hurled a stone at him. He was treated at the Vijayawada government hospital last night and is back on his feet now. While YCP supporters are calling this a vehement attack from TDP chief Chandrababu, the TDP supporter base is terming it a staged attack for sympathy.

If we have to talk about the gravity of such incidents and whether they will change the mood of the voters, we might have to dig deep into the history.

In 2003, former AP CM Chandrababu Naidu suffered a grave injury following a fatal bombing attack orchestrated by Naxalaites. This infamous Alipiri attack which left Naidu with bloody injuries while he was the sitting CM of United AP, happened in 2003 and the elections were held in the immediate next year.

Ideally sympathy factor should have worked in favor of the TDP boss and the TDP must have won the polls, but that didn’t happen, and instead YSR-led Congress came to power. This showed that the AP public wouldn’t vote just out of sympathy but instead give a calculated verdict based on the performance of the CM.

In 2018, a year before the 2019 polls, Jagan Mohan Reddy suffered a Kodi Katthi attack, and a year later, his YCP ended up sweeping the AP polls by a historic margin. But what must be noted here is that the sympathy factor might have worked because Jagan was the opposition leader then and had the anti-incumbency leading in his favor.

But if we come to the 2024 incident where a stone was pelted at him, the sympathy factor will not be as relevant. The polling will entirely be based on the performance of Jagan Mohan Reddy over the last 5 years.

We must take a cue from history that a chief minister (CBN) suffering a near-fatal injury from a Naxalite bombing itself couldn’t help him uphold power, so the stone-pelting incident on Jagan might not have too much of a say in the polling trends. Such sympathy factors might help an opposition leader but when he has served as the CM for five years. The public will judge this tenure entirely on performance and won’t be moved by a single incident that happened before polls.