Jaganmohan shows his might

YSRs son wins by a margin of over five lakh in Kadapa Lok Sabha seat

The defeat has been humiliating for both the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party as D L Ravindra Reddy (Congress) and Mysoora Reddy (TDP) in Kadapa Lok Sabha and Y S Vivekananda Reddy (Congress) and B.Tech Ravi (TDP) in Pulivendula assembly segments lost their deposits.

This is the first test of strength for the son of the late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy after he quit the Congress and floated the YSR Congress Party in March.

Among the 13.29 lakh eligible voters in Kadapa, 10.28 lakh exercised their franchise. In Pulivendula, one of the seven assembly segments of Kadapa Lok Sabha, 156,276 of the 189,000 electorate voted.

Unopposed

A total of 42 candidates contested in Kadapa and 25 in Pulivendula bypolls. In 2009, Jagan won with a majority of 178,846 votes. He had polled 542,611 votes while Palem Srikanth Reddy of the TDP secured 363,765 votes.

Y S Vijayalakshmi was elected unopposed in the last by-elections held in December 2009 — four months after the death of her husband  in a helicopter crash. 

YSR, as the late chief minister was popularly known, was elected from Pulivendula in 2009.

The victory of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and his mother in the bypolls on Friday proved that the legacy of former chief minister YS Rajasekhara  Reddy belongs to his widow and son and not the Congress party.

Riding high on the sympathy wave  and alleged money power, the two-year-old political newbie Jaganmohan, president of YSR Congress had clobbered veteran Congress and Telugu Desam Party candidates by a huge margin of above 5.43 lakhs, close to the  record of former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao and another giant killer in the state—Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi.

Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and APCC president D Srinivas who till now lashed at each other conclaved immediately after the Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly bypolls outcome.

For Jaganmohan, the door is open for an open battle against the Congress. Whether he will immediately pull the rug from under Kiran Kumar’s feet is to be seen. But his landslide victory has given confidence to his loyalists that they have nothing to fear from the Congress high command.

It now appears that the Congress state unit will not pursue the “disqualification motion” against four Jagan loyalists. However, it may fast forward the merger process of Praja Rajyam party (PRP) with the Congress.

Sources in the PRP said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi cancelled her appointment with Chiranjeevi slated for Friday evening in the aftermath of the party’s bleak performance in Kadapa bypoll and in other states.

In spite of Chiranjeevi’s support, the Kiran Reddy government  may not survive if Jagan’s support swells after the Kadapa bypoll from the present 20 to over 70 as many Congress MLAs, including  ministers, are unhappy with  the incumbent chief minister.

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