Hyderabad: Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of Andhra Pradesh’ late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who had quit Congress party last Monday, said on Tuesday that he will announce new party within 45 days.
Addressing supporters at his native village Pulivendula in Kadapa district for the first time after resigning to Congress party and to Member of Parliament post, Jagan said he will contest in the bypolls representing the new party.
The new party of Jagan, who owns a leading media house Sakshi with a television channel and newspaper, will become the fourth regional party in Andhra Pradeh. The three existing parities include Telugu Desam Party headed by N. Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana Rashtra Samithi of K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Praja Rajyam Party of actor-turned politician Chiranjeevi.
While elaborating on the conditions that led him to quit Congress, the 37-year-old rebel leader said, “The entire nation is going to keenly watch the bypolls to Pulivendula Assembly and Kadapa Parliament constituencies, which we consider semi-finals for the new party and the 2014 general elections as finals.”
Acceding that he was aware that he was taking on the most powerful person in India, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he said, “It is a battle between the group fighting for moral values, self respect and integrity and those known now for their disgusting political conspiracies. I am confident that only those fighting for values, self respect and integrity will win the battle at the end.”
Seeking blessings of Andhra people to his new party, Jagan has urged them to “bear the troubles resulting from the bad rule in the state for another three years. We promise to offer a golden age where the populist schemes of late YSR will be implemented at least for three decades from 2014.”
While Jagan is yet to announce whether he will contest from Assembly or Parliament constituency, one of his aides who did not want to be named said, “Jagan wants to contest from the Assembly and play an active role in the state politics.”
Political analysts say that the Congress will be a major loser in the state in the coming days. “The new party of Jagan will prove a major setback to Congress in AP,” said Telakapalli Ravi, political analyst and editor of Prajashakti Publications of Communist Party of India (Marxist).
However, he said Jagan has no readymade future though he has been claiming political legacy of his father. “He will face political constraints as he can not join hands with TDP, PRP or TRS in his fight against Congress. He will have to choose either Bharatiya Janata Party as his ally or Left parties. They will be waiting to see Jagan to announce political vision of his party.”
Laxmi Parvathi, widow of late chief minister N.T. Rama Rao and president of NTR Telugu Desam Party, said, “Congress appears to have committed a major blunder by not taking advantage of the public following that Jagan enjoys in AP to consolidate itself.”
Another political analyst who did not want to be named viewed that Jagan may not have cakewalk even in his stronghold Kadapa district. “Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy, the state agriculture minister and younger brother of late YSR, had already announced that he will contest against his nephew Jagan if the Congress high command asks him. Vivekananda Reddy enjoys strong support in several pockets of Kadapa district and can give a tough time to Jagan.”
Adding to this, D.L. Ravindra Reddy, state health minister and a staunch opponent of YSR in Kadapa district, has also announced on Tuesday that he “will contest against Jagan if the Congress high command permits.”
Ambati Rambabu, a key aide of Jagan, said the preparations for the new party have already started and the details on the party’s agenda, policies, flag and symbol are currently being worked out.
“The new party’s key agenda will be upliftment of poorer sections of the society, farmers, workers and women through implementation of populist programs introduced by late YSR,” said Rambabu.
Saying that Jagan has been dissuading many unhappy Congress legislators, Parliament members and ministers showing interest to join his new party, Rambabu said, “Jagan has made an open promise while quitting Congress that he will not pull down the current Congress government in AP. He has been advising the lawmakers to wait for another three years.”
In the next three years, Jagan’s new party will focus on fighting against the government on problems being faced by people, contest in the local body elections to be held in the next couple of years, play a role of an opposition and consolidate the party for the 2014 elections, said Rambabu.
Ambati Rambabu predicts a major debacle for Congress in AP in the hands of new party of Jagan. “History will repeat in AP where Congress will confine to less than 30 seats out of 294 Assembly seats,” he said.
However, Congress leaders view that Jagan’s party will not have significant impact on their prospects in the state. “Jagan’s party will have some impact but equally on both Congress and TDP. This impact will be confined to few districts such as Kadapa, Nellore, East Godari and West Godavari,” said Congress spokesperson B. Kamalakar Rao.
As Jagan had openly opposed state bifurcation in the Parliament, his party cannot make easy inroads into Telangana region, he said. “In Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, we will be joining hands with Chiranjeevi’s PRP and in the triangle contest between Congress-PRP combine, TDP and Jagan’s party, we will enjoy the advantage,” said Rao.
Further, Rao said the Congress leaders from Telangana region are on the job of impressing their party central leadership to initiate state bifurcation process well before Jagan announced his party. “TRS, which has been fighting for the state bifurcation, will cease to have any political agenda once Telangana is formed and they will support Congress in this region,” he said.