By Soroor Ahmed (NVONews.Com)
It was claimed that Andhra Pradesh would burn if Jagan Mohan Reddy is arrested. On Monday he was finally behind bars as Qaidi Number 6093, but nothing of that sort happened. Yet a large crowd did assemble in support of him.
Whether Jagan Mohan is really guilty or not is for the court to pronounce? Whether he is paying the price of misplaced or premature ambition to become the chief minister is for the people to decide? Whether the Congress is indulging in vendetta, only time will tell?
But one thing is clear. The MP son of the late popular chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y S Rajeshekhar Reddy, has confused the politics of the state. He has not only damaged the Congress but also neutralized the impact of Telugu Desam Party leader, Chandrababu Naidu, in the state politics. Now he is in the role of leading opposition leader of the state.
At the same time the movement for separate Telangana statehood has taken a backseat because of Jagan Mohan Reddy phenomenon. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi of Chandrashekar Rao has repeatedly demanded him to clear his stand on the issue of separate statehood. Being a politician from outside Telangana he opposes the demand of separate statehood.
On Jan last the cavalcade of Jagan Mohan was targeted by the supporters of separate Telangana in Nizamabad district. In this confusion the Bharatiya Janata Party won the Assembly by-election from Mahboobnagar in Telangaga, thus giving a new twist to the politics of Andhra Pradesh. Incidentally, the BJP defeated a Muslim TRS candidate by a slender margin of over 1800 votes in this assembly seat with a good Muslim population.
On the other hand sensing that it is not Naidu but Jagan Mohan who is more likely to create trouble in the future the Congress has started cutting him to size. After all he comes from influential Reddy caste of the state, which has so far produced 10 chief ministers. The present one also comes from this caste.
With a sizeable section of media siding with him––he owns Sakshi TV too––Jagan Mohan is no doubt a politician who can not be simply wished away. He is cashing in on the goodwill his father generated during his five and a half years rule as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.
Y S Rajshekhar Reddy not only brought to end a decade long Chandrababu Naidu government in the state in 2004, he also assured victory of Congress in the Lok Sabha election which too was held simultaneously then. He repeated his performance once again in 2009 making the main opposition Telugu Desam relatively irrelevant.
The Congress and TDP both have got divided on the issue of Telangana. Now the Congress wants to pit Jagan Mohan against Chandrababu Naidu as well as Telangana groups. But the whole issue has the potential to backfire on the state government too.
Interestingly, it is the BJP, which has criticized the Congress for its witchhunting against Jagan Mohan, a Christian. The party thinks that by supporting the Telangana cause it will increase its influence in the region. But with the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections two years from now things appear quite confused in Andhra Pradesh.