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Andhra Congress worried over Jagan's popularity

By Mohammed Siddique
December 21, 2010 15:57 IST

The massive response to the 48-hour hunger strike of former Kadapa Member of Parliament YS Jaganmohan Reddy in Vijaywada has set the alarm bell ringing in the ruling Congress due to the increasing number of legislators who are supporting the former party leader.

Apart from the mammoth gathering of more than a lakh people at 'YSR Pranganam' on the banks of River Krishna in Vijaywada, Congress leaders were also worried by the fact that many party legislators and other leaders have decided to openly support Jagan.
Apart from 18 Congress MLAs, two rebel MLAs of Praja Rajyam Party and Telugu Desam Party also attended the two-day programme
The Congress MLAs present alongside Jagan included film-actress-turned-MLA Jayasudha, former ministers Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose and Balineni Srinivas Reddy, Konda Surekha, G Srikant Reddy, A Nani, Mekapati Chandrasekhar Reddy, Dwarampudi Chandrasekhar Reddy, Gurunath Reddy, Ramchandra Reddy.

Members of Legislative Council Pulla Padmavathy, Konda Murli, and J Prabhakar Rao were also present.
PRP MLA from Allagadd Shobha Nagi Reddy and her husband and former MP Bhuma Nagi Reddy also attended the programme.

Other senior leaders of the Congress who were present include former minister and MP Konathala Ramakrishna, former MLA and ex chairman of Tirumala Tirupati Devsthanam B Karunakar Reddy, and a large number of Congress office bearers. Film star Rajasekhar and his wife Jeevita, who have quit the Congress, were also present.
Other notables gracing the occasion include NTR's widow Lakshmi Parvathy, film actress and former Telugu Desam women's wing chief Roja, film actor Vijay Chandar and D Subramanyam.
Speakers at the programme said that most of them had reached their present position because of the late YS Rajasekhar Reddy and it was their responsibility to support Jaganmohan.
"I am here to support Jaganmohan Reddy," said actress and MLA Jayasudha.

On the other hand, Konda Surekha targeted the continuing indefinite fast by TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu.

"It is like the devil quoting scriptures," she said, adding that Naidu was never a friend of farmers but he was trying to divert the attention from Jaganmohan Reddy's hunger strike.
Attendance of 18 Congress MLAs at Jagan's rally has raised fresh questions and doubts about the stability of the Congress government in the state. The Kiran Kumar Reddy-led government has a wafer thin majority in the House of 294 with a total strength of 156 MLAs.
Reacting to the presence of so many party MLAs at Jagan's hunger strike, senior party leader Sudhakar Reddy said that the Congress leadership will take action against them over charges of indiscipline.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad