The arrest of Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy by the CBI in a disproportionate assets case has put the Andhra Congress — which is already grappling with the Telangana imbroglio — in a tight spot.
Though the party has officially dismissed any apprehensions arising from this incident, Congress managers know what would be its immediate impact on the June 12 by-elections to 18 assembly constituencies and one Lok Sabha seat in the state. In its statement, the party said it would be a very “erroneous read of the political genius” of India, whose people are very mature.
There are contrary views within the Congress on the implications of Jagan’s arrest on the party as well as Andhra Pradesh politics.
An influential section of the party is of the opinion that the development would have a “huge impact” on the YSR Congress. “Jagan’s party will have to bear the consequences because it’s a one-man organisation and lacks a proper structure,” a Congress member said.
However, others believe that Jagan’s arrest would benefit the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and not Congress. “Chandrababu Naidu has been our age-old, formidable opponent. In the long run, Jagan’s arrest will strengthen the TDP,” a leader said.
Political analysts are also of the opinion that the Congress could have avoided the move. “It’s a pyrrhic (costly) victory for the Congress,” said one of them. The party, he said, can regain lost ground only if it replaces CM Kiran Kumar Reddy with somebody who is acceptable to all, and is capable of immediately announcing a decision on Telangana.
The arrest of excise and prohibition minister Mopidevi Venkataramana by the CBI has already placed the government on the edge, and the agency is expected to make a few more high-profile arrests soon.