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Is Jagan really a threat to Congress in Andhra?

Last updated on: December 7, 2011 12:59 IST

Is Jagan really a threat to Congress in Andhra?

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Vicky Nanjappa

In Tuesday's no-confidence motion only 19 Congress MLAs voted against the Andhra Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy as against YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy's threat that he had the strength to pull out 40. Clearly, Jagan does not enjoy the support he boasts of, say political observers.

Kiran Kumar Reddy proved his majority in the Andhra Pradesh assembly with not much of a threat from YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy who claimed in the run up to the trust vote that he would pull out 40 MLAs. But only 19 Congress MLAs voted against the chief minister.

The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh survived the trust vote proposed by the Telugu Desam Party. However, the bigger test on the day was for YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy.

Jagan, who had proclaimed in the run up to the trust vote that he could pull out 40 MLAs just with the wave of his hand, managed the support of just 19 rebel Congress MLAs.

The Congress, which managed the numbers with the help of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and the Praja Rajyam Party, says that this only proves that the YSR Congress party does not have the support it talks about.

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Image: YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy

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Winning one by-election is not enough to rattle a party that has a history of over a century, say Congress leaders. However, there is a lot taking place behind the scenes and despite the Congress winning the trust vote, the party is still in a direct war with Jagan.

Political observers say that it would have made no sense if the government had fallen.

The Congress had already decided that it would keep the assembly under suspended animation in case they lost the trust vote and then would have got an invitation to form the government after six months.

In such a scenario, the YSR Congress party, which has just one MLA in the house, would not have much to do.


Image: Andhra CM Kiran Kumar Reddy


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There are problems galore for the YSR Congress. And there is still a long way to go before they even matter in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

A source in the Jagan camp said that they would instead wait for the Congress to disqualify the 19 MLAs who cross-voted and then go in for by-elections.

"We are confident that all 19 would win under our ticket and then our strength would be 20 in the house," he said, adding that during this period "we would also want to build our party at the grassroot levels so that we have a good say in the local body polls as well."

However, the Congress is aware of the strategy and is dragging its feet on the issue of disqualification. Although there was a whip issued to all its MLAs, the Congress has still not acted against those who went against this whip.


Image: Jagan loyalist B Shobha Nagireddy (centre), who voted against the Andhra CM


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