Congress may opt for YSR's widow in Pulivendula poll
Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s widow Vijayalakshmi is emerging as the consensus Congress candidate for the Pulivendula assembly bypoll. The bypoll was necessitated due to the sudden demise of the former CM and has to be held by March 2010. While the Rosaiah group has already conveyed to the high command their preference for Vijayalakshmi, sources in the Jagan camp said other aspirants within YSR’s extended family has forced them too to project her as the consensus candidate. Sources close to Rosaiah said the subject was broached during his meeting with Sonia Gandhi last week. “The indications that madam gave to Rosaiah is that Jagan’s presence in AP politics is avoidable for the time being. Therefore, his candidature is ruled out. The CM then conveyed to her that Vijayalakshmi would be the best bet as it would cause no disturbance in the Congress as well as ensure that the seat remains with the YSR family,” a source said. While many Jagan supporters want him to take over the assembly seat held by his father, the Kadapa MP himself is said to be assuring them that his mother would be the ideal candidate in the present circumstances. “Jagan has decided to back off for the time being and bide his time by accepting a Union cabinet berth whenever it is offered,” said a source close to him. But what Jagan is worried about is the scramble for the seat within the family. While his sister Sharmila has shown interest, Jagan’s uncle Y S Bhaskar Reddy, son of Raja Reddy’s (YSR’s father) elder brother, too is staking claim for the seat, sources said. “Bhaskar has been a major contributor to YSR’s win in every poll. Therefore, if Sharmila insists on the ticket, Bhaskar too is sure to harden his stance. Hence, Jagan has convinced his mother to contest and she has agreed. Vijayalakshmi’s nomination will silence any dissent within the family as she is now the head,” a source said. According to sources close to Rosaiah, he has assured Sonia that the opposition will not be allowed to embarrass or target Vijayalakshmi during assembly proceedings and that the YSR legacy will be protected at all cost.