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The good, the bad and the political fall-out of Jagan's release

By Vicky Nanjappa
September 24, 2013 14:54 IST
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The TDP and the Congress are nervously watching the political outcome of Jagan Mohan Reddy's release, while the TRS is probably celebrating. Vicky Nanjappa tells us why

YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy’s release on bail, after nearly one and a half years of incarceration over corruption charges, has thrown other political parties in Andhra Pradesh into a tizzy.

With both Lok Sabha and state elections round the corner and Andhra Pradesh up in arms over the creation of Telangana, these parties have enough issues to deal with on their platter already.

None of them had anticipated Jagan’s release before the elections. Now, they will have to watch out for the wily leader’s future political shenanigans.

The Telugu Desam Party, which has remained non-committal about joining the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, may now consider the offer to join the coalition more seriously.

Naidu is likely to attend a meeting at Delhi on October 2 in the presence of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. In spite of speculations about the TDP joining the NDA soon, many in his party believe that Naidu will consider teaming up with the BJP only if the latter performs well in the parliamentary polls.

The YSR Congress, meanwhile, has got a new lease of life after Jagan’s release.

The party, which strongly opposes the division of the state, will try to consolidate its position in Seema-Andhra region. The YSR Congress is unlikely to tie up with any other party and it will contest the polls on its own.

Sources in the party point out that joining hands with the ruling Congress cannot be am option, as Jagan had launched the YSR Congress to prove a point about his popularity and political viability to party president Sonia Gandhi and other leaders.

The Congress has also given the go-ahead for the creation of Telangana, and the YSR Congress is likely to lose the goodwill of the people of Seema-Andhra if it ties up with its former political foe.

The Telangana Rashtriya Samiti, meanwhile, is probably the only party that is relieved over Jagan’s release. The party, which had risen from obscurity by milking the Telangana issue, will run out of steam, and a cause to fight for, once the new state is created.

The release of Jagan, one of the strongest opponents of the bifurcation of Andhra, may further delay the formation of Telangana.

In a bid to counter Jagan, the Congress may adopt a new strategy for Seema-Andhra and dilly-dally over the formation of the new state. This will help the TRS flog the issue some more and earn political brownie points right before the polls.

The Congress is acutely aware of its declining popularity in Seema-Andhra. But the party is hoping against hope that after the Lok Sabha elections, Jagan will decide to join the Congress-led the United Progressive Alliance, as he is not a natural ally of the NDA.

In Telangana region, the Congress hopes to forge an alliance with the TRS. In case talks about a political tie-up don’t work out, the Congress still expects the TRS to support UPA at the Centre.

The party is trying to polarise voters across Andhra Pradesh and snag as many alliance partners as possible for the UPA.

Image: Jaganmohan Reddy ' Photograph: SnapsIndia

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Vicky Nanjappa