Rebel Congress leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy took sweet revenge on his erstwhile party by trouncing its candidates in three MLC constituencies, which saw by-elections on March 21.
The fledgling YSR Congress Party, which Jagan floated on March 11, opened its account by securing three — Chittoor, Kadapa and West Godavari — of the nine seats at stake. The Congress, which had eight seats earlier, could secure only three, while cashing in on the division of Congress votes, main opposition TDP increased its tally from one to three.
For CM Kiran Kumar Reddy, who had successfully outmanoeuvred Jagan group in the first round of MLC elections last week, the result was a setback as the party candidate in his native district Chittoor lost out to Jagan candidate by just one vote. The Congress also suffered in Anantapur district where top leader JC Diwakar Reddy revolted.
The Jagan camp burst crackers and distributed sweets. The victory has come as a moral booster for Jagan just ahead of the Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula assembly by-poll.
Jagan party spokesperson Ambati Rambabu demanded the CM’s resignation on moral grounds. Congress MP from Nellore, Rajmohan Reddy said, “Despite monetary allurements and threats, people still voted for Jagan. It shows that he is a mass leader.”
The CM said, “We will identify the people who worked against the party and deny them ticket in the local body polls (in July, 2011),” he said.