'Y' factor dogs BJP, Congress in south
New Delhi: With Lok Sabha elections not far away, the BJP and the Congress are being dogged by the 'Y' factor in the South, accounting for some 130 seats.
While the shock given to the BJP by BS Yeddyurappa in its stronghold of Karnataka is fresh, the Congress is still to recover in Andhra Pradesh from the formation of the YSR Congress Party by YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
There have been more coincidences in the cases of Yeddyurappa and the late YS Rajasekhar Reddy, whose son has parted ways with the Congress to form his party.
70-year-old Yeddyurappa was the man behind the Karnataka victory, with the state being touted as the 'gateway to the south' for the BJP. The party, which was largely known for its north Indian base, created history four years back by coming to power there on its own.
The late YSR was the one who built the Congress in Andhra Pradesh in recent years and he was one of the leading lights whose hold over the state ensured a good show for the party in the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
YSR's spectacular performance in Andhra Pradesh where the Congress had tied up with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti espousing the cause of separate Telangana led to ouster of the BJP-led NDA from power at the Centre after six long years.
The victory in Andhra Pradesh not only boosted numbers of the Congress but also marginalised the TDP headed by N Chandrababu Naidu, who was the kingmaker in the NDA rule at the Centre from 1999 to 2004 by becoming key outside supporter of the BJP-led coalition.
While Yeddyurappa had to quit last year in the wake of allegations of corruption and changing of land use, YSR's family has been under attack for disproportionate assets and alleged land deals. Jaganmohan is in jail for the last over six months.
BJP leaders admit in private that Yeddyurappa was their tallest leader in Karnataka while Congress has not been able to stabilise in Andhra Pradesh after the parting of ways by Jaganmohan after being denied the Chief Ministership following the accidental death of his father.
A number of Assembly and Lok Sabha bypolls held in Andhra Pradesh sometime back has shown Congress' dwindling fortunes in the state where it is also bedevilled by the separate Telangana issue.
South India has a total of 130 seats with Andhra Pradesh having the maximum 42, followed by Tamil Nadu 39, Karnataka 28, Kerala 20 and Puducherry 1.
Congress and its allies had bagged around 80 seats in the South while BJP had been successful only in Karnataka drawing blank in the rest of the states. BJP bagged 18 seats in the 2009 elections, while Congress won 7.
Andhra Pradesh is the only major state where the Congress is in power on its own.