Saturday, May 7, 2011

YSR versus Sonia in Kadapa Loksabha by-poll

YSR versus Sonia in Kadapa Loksabha by-poll

On the face of it, it's a triangular contest for the Kadapa Lok Sabha bye-election in Andhra Pradesh, but in reality, it has essentially become a rather straight fight between YSR Congress President Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and Telugu Desam Party's M V Mysura Reddy. D L Ravindra Reddy of Congress

appears to be also in the fray only for the sake of it.

The lone question political pundits are asking is not who will win Kadapa but what will be Jagan's margin of victory. Jagan got elected to Lok Sabha from Kadapa in 2009 on Congress ticket by a margin of over 1.75 lakh votes. But, he quit the party as well as his parliamentary membership in November last year to float his own political outfit.

He is fighting the May 8 bye-election on behalf of his fledgling party, staking claim to his late father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's "political legacy." Now, Jagan's aim is to secure a victory margin of over two lakh to three lakh votes so as to send a resounding message to the Congress about his political might.

Interestingly, the Congress too is playing the "legacy" card against Jagan claiming Rajasekhara Reddy remained a "true Congressman" till his last breath unlike Jagan who quit the party only to fulfil his "political over-ambition" of becoming the chief minister. Jagan, on the other hand, is banking heavily on the sympathy factor and has been going to the extent of terming the Kadapa by-poll as a fight between Sonia Gandhi and YSR.

"It is a fight for self-respect," he tells voters as he seeks a mandate for him so as to teach a lesson to the Congress high command. The Congress has raised the BJP bogey against Jagan to attract the two lakh-odd Muslim voters in the Kadapa after the latter indicated that he would consider aligning with the saffron party if it promised ten per cent reservation for Muslims across the country. Jagan himself has promised to provide reservation for Muslims in politics as well.

The Telugu Desam, on the other hand, has focused entirely on the issue of corruption, showcasing how Jagan has allegedly amassed huge ill-gotten wealth between 2004 and 2009 when his late father was the Chief Minister. Jagan, however, is unperturbed over the tirade against him by the Congress and the TDP as he is confident of riding the sympathy wave. Of the seven Assembly segments in Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, Jagan has a clear edge in four while the TDP is strong in two.