Friday, April 22, 2011

Bypolls will shape future of AP politics

ys vijayamma election campaign in pulivendula photos
Bypolls will shape future of AP politics

A lot of significance is being attached to the by-elections to Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula assembly seats scheduled to be held on May 8.

For, they are going to decide the destiny of all the three major political parties in Andhra Pradesh - the Congress, the YSR Congress and the Telugu Desam.

The by-elections were necessitated by the resignation of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and his mother Y S Vijayalakshmi, who quit the Congress last December. Now, Jagan has directly launched an attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi, describing the by-elections as a battle between her and YSR. After making a whirlwind tour of the state in the name of "Odarpu Yatra" (tour to console bereaved families), Jagan wants to prove his mettle as the only leader with mass following. By winning the Kadapa by-polls, Jagan wants to prove that he is the legitimate successor of his father.

If Jagan loses, his ambitious plan of ascending the throne will be nipped in the bud. The ruling Congress will waste no time in crushing him politically as well as financially. And it would not be easy for Jagan to sustain his regional party for the next three years, leave alone developing it into a potential force to grab power in the next elections. He will be left with no option but to compromise with the Congress party and return to its fold sooner or later.

But if Jagan wins the Kadapa byelections with a thumping majority, it will be a tremendous boost for his fledgling regional party and it will soon grow into a formidable political force in the state. He will definitely adopt an aggressive posture in attacking the Congress party in the coming days.

The defeat of the Congress in the Kadapa by-elections is going to be seal the fate of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy. There is every possibility of exodus of a considerable number of Congress MLAs into the YSR Congress, leading to the collapse of the Congress governrment.

In such an event, the Centre might be compelled to go in for midterm elections to the state assembly or the imposition of President's Rule in the state. And for the TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu, a defeat in the Kadapa by-elections will not make any difference, as in any case, his party does not have much presence in the constituency, which has been a traditional stronghold of YSR family.

Yet, he feels the TDP may have an outside chance, because of the split in YSR family and the Congress vote bank. Even if the TDP can increase its voting percentage or gets a second position in Kadapa, Naidu's image will go up and it will help him move more confidently towards the 2014 general elections.

And the impact of the Kadapa bypoll will definitely be felt in other parts of the state as well. If Jagan wins, his party would get tremendous support from the people across coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, and if he adopts a pro-Telangana stand, he would be able to conquer even this region.

On the other hand, if Jagan remains silent on Telangana, the Congress would have no option but to concede the demand for separate Telangana so that it can survive at least in this part of the state. In such an event, the TRS, which is spearheading the Telangana agitation, will be more than willing to merge with the Congress. And the biggest loser will be the TDP.


ys vijayamma election campaign in pulivendula photos: