India Today

The Omelette That Wasn’t

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In the final days of the campaign, the Congress in Telangana showcased a jumbo egg-shaped delight at several rallies. On that white orb were painted, in black, the Telugu letters gadidha guddu (donkey’s egg). Held up at rallies to humour their audiences, this is essentiall­y a visual joke meant to take a jibe at the BJP. The other day, CM Revanth Reddy had dipped his digital ink in full-on snark as he deployed this old folk image on X. All that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given the state in a decade was a gadidha guddu, he tweeted. That’s a Telugu metaphor meaning nothing worthwhile, or zilch, the donkey being a viviparous mammal, giving birth to live young ones instead of laying eggs. Thereafter, Congress candidates, holding up the emblazoned eggs, had voters in splits everywhere. Especially in Chevella, where Revanth was joined by candidate G. Ranjith Reddy, a leading egg producer—they had two donkey eggs held up high! Meanwhile, a big gadhida guddu is what some voters next door in Andhra Pradesh insteand odf say they got— the promised ‘gifts’ from YSRCP and TDP candidates. On polling eve, May 12, voters actually staged protests in at least five places saying their palms had not yet been greased. Clearly, they didn’t trust either side to deliver o•-the-register gratificat­ion, in cash or kind, after they win! The cops busted the street demos, but aware citizenry lurked elsewhere too. RWAs wisely asked for generators or solar power backups in exchange for their collective vote. In Pinapalle village of Kothapeta assembly constituen­cy, women voters called at the homes of villagelev­el leaders and returned the cheap saris they got and demanded gifts worth what others got—or plain and simple cash handouts, which ranged from Rs 500 to Rs 6,000.

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