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Litmus test for Jagan

Highlights

YSRCP has waited for six months for the post-bifurcation dust to settle down and it hopes to resurrect its image and cash in on YSR’s legacy in Telangana

YSRCP has waited for six months for the post-bifurcation dust to settle down and it hopes to resurrect its image and cash in on YSR’s legacy in Telangana

The ‘Paramarsa Yatra’ by Sharmila in the Telangana region, which would kick-start from Mahbubnagar district on December 8 on behalf of YSRCP, will be a litmus test for Jaganmohan Reddy’s leadership skills and ability to run the party in Seemandhra and Telangana regions. It appears that there is more than what meets the eye behind the Paramarsa Yatra. Party insiders feel that YSRCP president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is eyeing the GHMC elections to be held soon. The party, which has got identified more as a Seemandhra party and has emerged as the major opposition party in Andhra, feels that it would be able to garner a big chunk of the Seemandhra votes as it consists of majority of people from Seemandhra and Christian minorities in the GHMC limits.

YSRCP had polled 1,50,000 votes in the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency. Another reason for the yatra, it is said, is to keep its flock together. Already three important leaders Bajireddy Govardhan, Konda Surekha and Putta Madhu have crossed over to TDP. The three leaders had won the elections by defeating Congress heavy weights. The main problem for Jagan is the clear anti-Telangana stand he had taken when the State was on the verge of getting bifurcated. While TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu took an ambivalent stand, Jagan openly opposed bifurcation of the state. Since then no efforts were made to rebuild the party in Telangana. On the other hand, Jagan did not try to take on the TRS in the post-bifurcation scenario during the past six months.

The sudden decision to send Sharmila as its brand ambassador of TS could also have another angle, feel analysts. May be Jagan is worried that the government may crack its whip on Jagan’s assets. However, party insiders say that YSRCP has waited for six months for the post-bifurcation dust to settle and it hopes that it will be able to resurrect the party and cash in on YSR’s legacy. That could be the USP for the party and Sharmila would be the best agent. It is also felt that there is a social angle to the move. The T Congress leaders are not happy with TPCC president Ponnala Lakshmaiah. The Reddys, who are a major social group, are slowly uniting and there is a possibility that YSRCP may leverage this to their advantage. Telangana also has SC and minorities who are significant in number and are sympathetic to Jagan because of the Muslim reservations which were given during YSR’s tenure. The Congress party is caught in a quagmire and has failed to resurrect the party.

The recent flip-flop on the issue of the Whip to nail the defectors is a classic example of lack of unity in the party. The TDP too is in disorder and as long as Chandrababu Naidu is the CM of Andhra Pradesh they will face the insurmountable problem of credibility. The BJP is clueless on how to make headway in the new state. Given this political scenario, Jagan feels that it has space for the party in Telangana, the party think tank claims. If they get right allies may be there is still a ray of hope for this party in Telangana.

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