Tag: YSR Congress party

Jagan can turn out to be kingmaker-in-waiting

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Speculation over a post poll scenario brings forth heavy hitters from the regions, sometimes derisively called political weathercocks. So expect their actions and statements to be dissected for hidden meaning. They had been relegated to the fringes after 2014 but appear to be fancying their chances once again in 2019.

Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy of YSR Congress Party, who is nipping away at the heels of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, is a key player in state politics.

However, he could be positioning himself for a possible role at the national level — going by his recent remarks, where he said he had forgiven the Congress but also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The YSR Congress Party did not fare well in 2014 in terms of seats won in the Assembly and the Lok Sabha but was right up there with Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in terms of vote percentage.

This is what provided the launch pad for his key position in Andhra Pradesh politics. The YSR Congress Party won eight Lok Sabha seats to the Telugu Desam’s 15 but was ahead on voting percentage — 45.38 per cent to the TDP’s 40.53 per cent. In the Assembly elections, it was just about at the same level, cornering 44.4 per cent of the vote to the TDP’s 44.6 per cent.

This is where Jagan’s strength comes from. If this vote base translates into seats, Reddy could be a big player if the Lok Sabha polls do not throw up a clear winner at the Centre.

His rise is inversely proportional to Naidu’s political fortunes. A combination of the prominent Kapu vote, Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan’s rise — he is a Kapu — and the party’s alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party could make things difficult for Naidu.

In 2014, the BJP and Pawan Kalyan had helped Naidu win by the skin of his teeth. The records will show that the TDP won 102 of 175 Assembly seats with YSR Congress Party winning 66, but as shown earlier, the two parties were at the same level in terms of vote percentage.

Now, Naidu is without the BJP and Pawan Kalyan’s support. That would be advantage Jagan Mohan Reddy, who launched a blistering campaign against the TDP government’s record in governance and corruption in the run-up to polling for the Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh on April 11.

If indeed Jagan has a role to play in a post poll scenario, who would he stand with? The answer to that is not a foregone conclusion. The YSR Congress Party has a strong base among Muslims, and he is Christian. But, that might not place him automatically in the anti-BJP camp.

Jagan has a number of criminal and other cases against him — according to his affidavit, he faces 31 criminal cases, seven cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and 11 cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act pending against him. If Modi were to ride back to power, the YSR leader might be reminded of these pending cases against him.

On the public forum Jagan has tried to provide clarity, saying he will back the party that provides special category status to Andhra Pradesh — a promise made by the UPA-II government when Andhra Pradesh was divided to create Telangana. That might not entirely hold when all the chips are laid on the table.

Viveka murder becomes a big election issue!

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The sensational murder of former Kadapa MP Y S Vivekananda Reddy, brother of former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, has become a big political issue in the ongoing elections in Andhra Pradesh.

Being an aggrieved party, it is nothing but natural for YSR Congress party led by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy to blame it on the ruling Telugu Desam Party for its failure to protect the law and order.

It is also natural that in the wake of past experiences wherein the state police had failed to crack several cases, Jagan has demanded a CBI inquiry into the murder of his uncle.

Since the TDP is in power, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has entrusted the investigation to a special investigation team of the state police.

He is also entitled to defend the police and refuse to hand over the probe to the CBI, since it would demoralise the state police.

But, instead of allowing the law to take its own course and leaving the matter at that, Naidu has been making every attempt to exploit the Viveka murder case to gain political mileage in the elections.

For the last two days, Naidu has been dedicating at least 10 minutes at his public meetings to explain the murder case to the people, as if he himself is investigating the case.

Obviously, Naidu is seeking to highlight the Rayalaseema murder politics and project Jagan in a bad light.

Even at the morning teleconferences with party leaders, he has been brainwashing them on the case and telling them to highlight Jagan’s alleged faction politics.

On Monday, Naidu went a step further and sought to create an impression that the murder of Viveka was due to family problems.

He reminded that Jagan himself had serious differences with his uncle.

“There were reports that Jagan had threatened Viveka, when the latter refused to resign from the MP seat. Only after Sonia Gandhi warned YSR, Jagan had to go silent,” he said.

He even pointed out Jagan had manhandled Viveka twice in the past for his political gains.

“Obviously, the relations between Viveka and Jagan were not good,” he said, indicating that the TDP would create a suspicion in the minds of the people that Jagan has a criminal brain and is trying to throw blame on the TDP.