YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy’s release from jail after about 16 months has come as a booster dose for his party at a time when majority of his party colleagues were becoming increasingly restless, and some even looking for different options.
To keep the flock together, especially after the Congress party’s nod to the creation of Telangana, had become a major challenge for his mother YS Vijayalakshmi, popularly known as Vijayamma, and sister Sharmila.
But that scenario has now changed. Jagan’s release would not only help in reviving his party’s fortunes but also effectively contain his rivals at a time when Andhra Pradesh is in turmoil over the UPA’s forward movement on the separate state of Telangana.
With its anti-Telangana stand, the YSR Congress has emerged as a powerful force in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions which are against any move to divide the state.
Some months ago, the YSR Congress appeared to have lost its major ground in Seemandhra when it fared badly in the panchayat elections. The Congress and the TDP both had done fairly well.
But that was before the Congress Working Committee (CWC) decided in favour of a separate state of Telangana. The public anger in Seemandhra is now mainly directed against the Congress party and its leadership.
Political observers say Jagan’s bitter rival, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, will now have no option but to strike an alliance with the BJP and rejoin the NDA fold after nearly a decade. TDP leaders privately admit that a tie-up with the BJP will help consolidation of the backward caste vote in favour of their party.
Enjoying considerable support in Seemandhra, Jagan, sources said, would strive to make inroads in Telangana as well.