Kadapa by-polls: Jagan`s major political test
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 21:20
Hyderabad: Four months after he quit the Congress, Y S Jaganmohan Reddy will face his first major political test in May when he contests the by-elections from his family pocket-borough of Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh.

Jaganmohan, who won the seat with a huge margin on a Congress ticket in 2009, will face stiff competition from his former party, which is said to be contemplating to field his uncle and state minister Y S Vivekananda Reddy.

Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly segment, represented by Jaganmohan's mother Vijayalaxmi, will go to by-polls on May 8, the Election Commission announced in Delhi today.

Son of late Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, the industrialist-turned-politician quit the Congress as well as his Lok Sabha seat on November 29 last year alleging that the party "humiliated" his family.

Political observers feel that a good show by Jagan in the by-elections will spell trouble for Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy as the rebel leader would try to go for the kill with the help of MLAs loyal to him.

When he quit the Congress in November last, Jagan's group claimed he enjoyed the support of at least 36 MLAs in the 294-member AP Assembly, a number good enough to dislodge the Kiran Kumar Reddy government.

Just weeks later, Jagan claimed during an agitation programme in New Delhi that the Kiran Kumar government was surviving only "at my mercy." Over 20 Congress MLAs participated in the protest.

"I am doing a favour to the Congress by not pulling down its government in Andhra Pradesh," he had claimed and maintained that he would let it continue its full term till 2014 as it came to power only because of his late father.

Political analysts are, however, unwilling to take Jagan's claims on face value as they aver that he would not be so "politically imprudent" to wait on the sidelines for another three years.

As things stand, Jagan seems to be enjoying clear support of just a dozen Congress MLAs besides two each of Praja Rajyam Party and Telugu Desam.

There, of course, are some fence-sitters who may jump the wall any way depending on the circumstances. Jagan was to set up his "own party" but some glitches spoiled his plans as an outfit by the name "YSR Congress" was already registered with the Election Commission.

With no other option in sight, Jagan promptly joined the YSR Congress as an ordinary member and got "elected" as its president last month.

He then publicly announced the name of his party at a public meeting in Jaggampet in East Godavari district and followed it up with the unveiling of its flag on March 12 at his father's grave at Rajiv Knowledge Valley in Kadapa district.

For all practical purposes Jagan could not "formally launch" his political party as the model code of conduct was in place for the elections to Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council. He cannot do it now either as the code remains in place for the by-elections as well.

Nevertheless, he will contest the by-election from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency as YSR Congress party candidate and his mother Vijayalakshmi will be the party nominee from Pulivendula Assembly segment.

Jagan's camp gave a shocker to the ruling party by winning three of the nine Legislative Council seats in the recent elections from the Local Authorities Constituencies while marring its chances in two other.

In fact, Congress MLAs loyal to him virtually defeated the ruling party's nominee for the Council election from the Assembly quota on March 17 by voting in favour ofMajlis party candidate, though he too was supported by the Congress.

Now, Jagan's strength will be put to real test in the by-elections in his own fiefdom. The contest will be as much on YSR's political legacy as well as on Jagan's leadership while the sympathy factor too will come into play, the observers feel.


First Published: Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 21:20

comments powered by Disqus