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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Jagan scouts for partners, deserters

Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times  Hyderabad, September 26, 2013
First Published: 23:23 IST(26/9/2013) | Last Updated: 09:07 IST(27/9/2013)

Having lost over a year — a crucial period in the run-up to general elections – in jail, YSR Congress Party leader Jaganmohan Reddy is in an overdrive, reaching out to potential allies, CPM and AIMIM.

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Two days after Jagan was released from the Chanchalguda Jail, senior party leader Mysura Reddy met CPM’s state chief BV Raghavulu on Thursday.

Though the stated purpose was to take the CPM and AIMIM along in the party’s ‘united Andhra’ mission, political scenarios and possible alliances were also in consideration.

The CPM is in favour of united Andhra Pradesh while the AIMIM was strongly opposed to the division till the Congress’s decision.

“While we are glad with their (YSRCP) shift towards united Andhra, we told them that a decision to join hands in the agitation can only be taken after a discussion in the party,” Raghavulu told HT.

At a time when parties are strategising on alliances, CPM understands that any kind of siding with Jagan would be tantamount to an association in the 2014 polls — to be held simultaneously for the assembly and Lok Sabha.

The YSRCP overtures come at a time when Telugu Desam Party, an old ally of CPM, is considering grouping with the BJP to stay relevant in the state. Also, CPM was critical of Jagan on the disproportionate assets cases against him.

YSRCP leaders, who have been holding strategy meetings with Jagan, said they wanted to take AIMIM on board for the agitation for united Andhra. An alliance with the AIMIM, which is strong in Hyderabad, could help YSRCP attract Muslim votes, especially in Rayalaseema.

Even as he works towards new alliances, Jagan’s release has stirred the opposition Congress and TDP camps. Several Congress leaders, including MPs and ministers, of Seemandhra region are looking to jump ship.

And Jagan is believed to have asked party leaders to be a bit accommodative in poll season.

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