By Soroor Ahmed (NVONews.Com)
Andhra Pradesh bypoll results have stunned Congress. By making a virtual clean sweep in the by-elections the YSR Congress has not only posed a big challenge to the ruling Congress party in Andhra Pradesh but also wiped out the opposition Telugu Desam and even threatened the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
It bagged 15 out of 18 state Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat which went to poll recently. Though political observers are attributing this victory to the sympathy factor as its leader 39-year old MP and son of former chief minister, Y S Rajshekhar Reddy, is in jail yet there is no dearth of people who feel that the Jagan Mohan phenomenon is not temporary and is here to stay.
Andhra Pradesh has enough scope for personality-oriented leader which presently the Congress lacks, especially after the death of YSR himself in a helicopter crash in Sep 2009.
While Congress could win just two Assembly seats, the main opposition Telugu Desam drew a blank.
The results is a pointer to the fact that the voters think that the CBI raids and subsequent arrest of Jagan Mohan is a witch-hunting and not a crusade against corruption.
The TRS managed to win just one seat and that too in Telangana region by a narrow margin of just 1,562 votes in Parkal. Even here the YSR Congress ended up runners up. It is in the by-election for Mahboobnagar Assembly seat last March that the BJP defeated the TRS, which put up a Muslim candidate.
So, the far from satisfactory performance of TRS in the recent by-polls in the region suggest that the party is unable to perform as well as it was expected.
In fact the performance of the YSR Congress has made many in the Congress high command sit up and ponder as to what has gone wrong in the state. The Congress-led UPA has gone too far against him and there is now no scope for rapprochement. If the present trend continues the Congress will have to pay dearly for this miscalculation.
With 155 MLAs now the majority of Congress has come down to just eight seats in a House of 294. The YSR Congress tally increased to 17. In the final analysis, the Congress lost 14 seats as it held 16 seats, won in 2009. The other two were won by PRP in 2009 but now they were grabbed by YSR Congress. It was also a loss of face for actor-turned-politician K Chiranjeevi as the YSR Congress snatched the Tirupati Assembly seat he vacated upon his election to Rajya Sabha in March.
The TRS gained one more seat Parkal, thanks to the by-election.
On the other hand YSR Congress’ M Rajamohan Reddy won the Nellore Lok Sabha seat defeating high-profile T Subbirami Reddy of Congress by a margin of 2,91,745 votes.
Interestingly, the Congress lost deposits in four constituencies though it managed to win two seats, largely on the caste factor.
Jagan Mohan Reddy is at present lodged in the Chanchalguda prison as an undertrial in the disproportionate assets case.