Rahul remarks raise Jagan camp hopes


Even as the development dampened the mood in YSR’s son Jaganmohan Reddy’s camp, its hopes revived with positive statements made by Rahul Gandhi in Chennai on Thursday. Jagan supporters were elated over the Congress general secretary’s statement that he had qualifications other than being YSR’s son and that he was a politician in his own right.

“We are certainly very hopeful...our stand has been strengthened that Jagan can become CM in his own right,” said Sabbam Hari, MP from Anakapalle and a leading member of the ‘Jagan as CM’ campaign.

However, Gandhi did say that the decision would be taken by the high command and the state unit. There was no let-up in the campaign by the Jagan camp in mobilising support for his cause. A survey by a local TV channel showed that 78 per cent favoured Jagan as CM. The present chief minister K Rosaiah came a distant second, with 13 per cent favouring him. The survey, conducted by Neilsen, was carried out in 115 Assembly seats and covered 11,000 respondents, according to a private television channel. College students have been roped in to hold demonstrations in support of Jagan while youth and women activists of the Congress, too, have been holding rallies across the state.

Meanwhile, Rosaiah denied media reports that some of his ministers were not cooperating with him. “All are working together with proper understanding. There are absolutely no differences,” he said on Thursday.

Two ministers who were considered close to YSR, N Raghuveera Reddy and Jupalli Krishna Rao, reportedly did not attend the meetings called by the CM. The two are among the group of four ministers who refused to take oath afresh as ministers in Rosaiah’s Cabinet. In fact, a meeting on prices of essential commodities had to be concluded within 10 minutes because both Minister Krishna Rao and the commissioner kept away.

Stop-gap arrangement

But they make no secret that they consider Rosaiah as a stop-gap arrangement. Ministers make it clear that Rosaiah needs to make way soon for the real deal. A strong supporter of Jagan, minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy denied reports of non-cooperation. They said they respected Rosaiah as he was “elderly”. “We will work together till a new leader is elected,” he said.

The continuing stalemate over the Jagan issue has prompted the main Opposition party TDP to work out various scenarios and accordingly plan its future course of action. If Jagan is overlooked, his loyalists will destabilise the government. Should he be made the CM, then the government would not survive the full term, having been weakened by a political novice like Jagan. In either scenario, mid-term elections seem to be inevitable, say the TDP sources.

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