Cong on sticky wicket, Jagan claims support of 36 MLAs

Cong on sticky wicket, Jagan claims support of 36 MLAs

The 'doosra' bowled by rebel Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy today apparently caught Kiran off-guard, perhaps an indication of political turmoil that he may face especially with Jaganmohan followers ready to bowl more googlies and even bouncers at him.

Congress sources indicated that at least 28 MLAs have solidly pledged their support to Jaganmohan and offered to resign while another seven to eight are also keen to follow suit.

The Jaganmohan camp claims at least four members of Lok Sabha, 36 MLAs and half-a-dozen members of Legislative Council are now behind him.

"Four to five MLAs from Praja Rajyam Party will also join hands with us soon," the rebel leader's aides claimed.

For the record, however, Jaganmohan appealed to Congress MLAs not to quit their posts "for me".

"Wherever you are, your love and affection are enough for me. Please do not resign from your posts for me," Jaganmohan appealed in the open letter he addressed to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

However, a Jaganmohan loyalist, who interestingly camped in New Delhi over the last three days lobbying for a cabinet berth, claims that the son of former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy is all set to split the party and dislodge the Kiran Kumar Reddy government.

"Wait for two more days and see what happens," said the first-time MLA.
The Chief Minister, who returned from New Delhi this afternoon, discussed the fallout of Jagan's resignation with several former ministers and MLAs at the Lake View Guest House.

Kiran Kumar was closeted in an "informal meeting" with them after meeting the state Governor E S L Narasimhan for about 15 minutes in the Raj Bhavan.

Anxiety was writ large on their faces as the legislators discussed Jaganmohan's resignation from the party before the Chief Minister's arrival.

"If the Jagan group's claim of having the support of 35-36 MLAs is true, government will certainly be in soup," a former minister and senior MLA said.

The numbers will not add up even if the Praja Rajyam Party (18 MLAs) and the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (seven MLAs) support the government, the MLA said, adding seeking the support of 11-member Telangana Rashtra Samiti's then becomes inevitable.

It is still unclear if the four MPs, including Union Minister of State K M Sai Pratap (Rajampet), Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy (Nellore), Undavalli Arunkumar (Rajahmundry) and Sabbam Hari (Anakapalle), who are sworn loyalists of Jaganmohan, too will step down.

Jagan campers maintain that there was "no need" for the MPs to resign.

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