Unseemly haste may dampen Jagan's cause

Andhra Pradesh limps back to normalcy: Campaign for YSR son upsets Rosaiah

 
Jaganmohan Reddy. PTIThe supporters of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, YSR’s only son, have already proposed his name and even written to the party high command in this regard. But experts believe that this brazen and indecent move has damaged Jagan’s cause. The idea of Jagan as YSR’s successor began to float around within a few hours after the announcement of YSR’s death.

It gathered steam and his supporters voiced threats of splitting the party if Jagan was not made chief minister even as the body of YSR lay in state in his official residence. Then, a cabinet resolution supporting Jagan was reportedly manipulated and delivered to the governor.

“The cabinet has no right to pass any resolution. It is not authorised to make such decisions which is the prerogative of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP). Is this a democracy or a feudal set up,” said a professor of Osmania University, who did not want to be quoted.

There is a fairly strong opinion that an ideal person to head the government would be one who can take the various groups and factions along with him or her. But that is an ideal situation that simply does not exist. Already, taking cue from the Jagan lobby, other groups and loyalists of potential claimants to the chief minister’s gaddi have begun to chalk out strategies on how best to push their candidate.

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha member and Congress Working Committee member K Keshava Rao on Saturday pooh-poohed the ongoing campaign in favour of Jagan. “It is being made out as if there is a crisis situation in the party over (the issue of) the next chief minister. There is no such thing,” he said.

“This is not the time to raise the issue of next chief minister...the (party) high command will take the decision...there is no reason for any kind of campaign to be taken up,” he said referring to the signature campaign being taken up by Jagan’s supporters.

Another school of thought believes that the best solution would be to allow the present acting chief minister and senior leader K Rosaiah to continue, considering the fact that he does not belong to any of the caste groups that dominate the state Congress. But, it is pointed out that Rosaiah does not have a mass base as he has not contested any election so far. He is member of the Legislative Council. Rosaiah’s supporters point out that while the first qualification is not necessary, the second one can be remedied a la P V Narasimha Rao, who was a Rajya Sabha member when he became  prime minister. 

Rosaiah was diplomatic on Saturday, his first day as the chief minister. Refusing to be drawn into the succession war, he said he would abide by the decision of the party high command. “I would not have worked with five chief ministers by doing whatever I like. If the high command asks me to jump into Hussainsagar, I will do it,” he said referring to the lake in the heart of the city.

Rosaiah was apparently unhappy over the manner in which some ministers and legislators were trying to pitch in favour of Jagan. “They may convey their feelings to the high command, but pressurising somebody to pass a resolution is not proper,” he said, refusing to elaborate.

His remarks are significant as there is a confusion on whether the first cabinet meeting chaired by him on Thursday evening passed a resolution urging Congress president Sonia Gandhi to name Jagan the next chief minister as claimed by YSR loyalists. The next day, the CLP office sent a copy of the letter purportedly written by the cabinet to Sonia, informing her that the cabinet passed a unanimous res olution and urging her to name Jagan as chief minister.

The letter had names of all 36 members of the council of ministers, including Rosaiah, but carried no signatures. At least 10 of these ministers were in Kadapa organising the funeral arrangements for YSR when the letter was sent in their name. The lobby claimed the support of 122 out of 155 legislators.

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