Insulted by Jagan, MLAs in AP `keen` to join Cong

At a meeting Jagan reportedly spoke harshly and even suggested that those "who are finding it uneasy here" might go back to the Congress.

Updated: Nov 10, 2011, 12:20 PM IST

Hyderabad: The cheer seems to be back in
the ruling Congress government in Andhra Pradesh, besieged
with separate statehood stir, as the rebel MLAs who had joined
the YSR Congress party are `keen` to return, while the TRS`
move to `poach` them hitting a road block.

The rapid-fire political developments, unfolded in the
southern state in the backdrop of extended stir for Telangana
state, seem to be settling down, political observers said.

Growing buzz in the political circles is that the
majority of 26 Congress MLAs, who had shifted their loyalty to
YSR Congress party led by Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of late chief
minister Y S R Rajasekhara Reddy, are now retracting.

State unit Congress president Botsa Satyanarayana and
government whip Kondru Murali Mohan have indicated that many
of the `rebel` legislators have sent feelers about their
inclination to return to the party fold.

What is prompting the MLAs, who gravitated to Jagan
two months back, to do a rethink on their decision is the
`cold-shoulder` given to them by the Kadapa MP.

At a meeting two days ago with the MLAs and some
senior leaders, who were supposed to be backing him, Jagan
reportedly spoke harshly and even suggested that those "who
are finding it uneasy here" might go back to the Congress.

Jagan particularly spit fire on a legislator from
Telangana and a couple of other leaders, leaving other MLAs
red-faced.

Another factor in favour of Congress is that the TRS`
plan of `attracting` some more Congress and TDP MLAs into its
fold under "Operation Akarsh" has hit a roadblock amid
indications that the Central government may announce its
decision on separate statehood issue soon.

The TRS had to remain content with the crossover of
only three MLAs from the ruling party. Although TRS spread the
word that three more MLAs from the principal opposition Telugu
Desam Party (TDP) were all set to switch sides, the
legislators themselves debunked such talk.

"We will remain in the TDP and fight for the cause of
Telangana. There is no question of joining TRS," MLAs
Hanumanth Shinde, P Ramulu and S Devaiah asserted.

"The TRS is deliberately resorting to such false
propaganda only to further its political interests," they
alleged.

These developments have brought cheer back in the
Congress camp as they effectively neutralise any immediate
threat to the Kiran Kumar Reddy government.

Also, the TDP`s reluctance to move a no-confidence
motion against the government at this stage has come as a shot
in the arm for Congress leadership.

"The biggest challenge for us now is to cross the
Telangana barrier. We have almost come close it and once we
cross it, the road ahead becomes clear," a senior minister
remarked.

It seems not only Congress but all major political
parties in the state are anxious to know about how the `road
ahead` opens up for them.

PTI