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The other big upset

Jaganmohan Reddy's by-poll win from Kadapa Parliamentary constituency, defeat at hands of dissidents in Puducherry and a close shave in Kerala are not good news for Congress. Pankaj Vohra reports.

delhi Updated: May 14, 2011 03:02 IST
Pankaj Vohra

On a day when history was made in West Bengal, a young leader who could possibly be the new face of Andhra Pradesh also made his debut on the big stage of state politics. The impressive victory of YS Jaganmohan Reddy, son of late YS Rajsekhar Reddy from Kadapa Parliamentary constituency along with that of his mother YS Vijayamma from the Pulivendula assembly segment are not good signs for both the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party.

It appears that the reverberations of the outcome in the Kadapa Lok Sabha elections will be felt shortly in Hyderabad and thereafter at the Centre. Jagan on Friday became the rightful claimant of his father’s legacy and it is one election, which could have the greatest impact on the Centre where the Congress led UPA, came to power propelled by the 33 seats from Andhra Pradesh in 2009.

The Kadapa result is significant since the entire Andhra Pradesh government and the Congress had put in all the resources at their command to defeat Jagan. The outcome therefore will be a game changer and lead to a series of developments in the state and subsequently the centre. The Jagan Juggernaut will not only hit the Congress but also damage the future prospects of the TDP, which was hoping to be an alternative to the ruling party once again.

The entire Jagan issue following his father’s untimely death in 2009 is an example of how the Congress has mastered the art of creating trouble for itself. Had Jagan and his mother been placated on time, the embarrassment of being defeated by a prominent dissident would not have arisen. Many experts believe that it is a matter of time before the Congress will start losing its grip over its strongest state in the country.

The Congress has similarly suffered a defeat also at the hands of its dissidents in Puducherry where former CM NR Rangaswamy has managed to surge ahead in numbers to once again lay a claim to form the next government. It is perhaps the first defeat for the party in this Union Territory in a long time. The party needs to ascertain the circumstances why Rangaswamy had to leave the Congress and was compelled to form his own party like Jagan did in Andhra.

If the Congress is rejoicing its very commendable win in Assam, it has to thank Tarun Gogoi for good governance and pragmatic politics. The victory has demonstrated once again the need to develop good and credible leaders in the states.

Kerala polls outcome will give sleepless nights to whoever is appointed the chief minister since the result is too close for comfort and presents an inbuilt element of instability. The Left performance could have been better had its central leadership not humiliated Achutanandan and gone by his advice.

The Congress would have been on the winning side in Tamil Nadu if it had heeded to the advice of its cadres. Time for course correction perhaps?