Jaganmohan Reddy’s party to be part of Third Front?


YSRCP-to-be-part-of-Third-FHyderabad: YSRCP’s rally at L.B. Stadium prompted Congress and TDP leaders to accuse that YS Jagan’s party and Congress high-command are in a match-fixing deal. TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu has almost made it a habit to tell every day that YSR Congress will  support Congress at the Centre after 2014 elections and the TRS will merge with Congress before polls.

However, this may be one side of the story. YSR Congress has been in the reckoning of national parties like CPI (M) and JD(U) which are trying to cobble up a non-Congress, non-BJP formation for the 2014 General elections.

There were even reports that CPI(M) central leaders have asked their state unit chief BV Raghavulu to convince YS Jagan to attend the ‘National convention against communliasm’ being organised by Left parties and JD(U) on October 30 in New Delhi.

Four Left parties have so far convinced  AIADMK, JD(U), SP, BJD, NCP, JD(S), Naga People’s Front, Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha and RPI (Prakash Ambedkar) to participate in the October 30 ‘Convention Against Communalism and For Unity of People.

And these leaders are looking for more parties to bolster their strength and it is with this aim that the CPI(M) state unit was asked to rope in YSRCP. The recent war of letters between Raghavulu and his CPI counterpart K. Narayana has to be seen in this light.

And the way Jagan spoke at the recent ‘Samaikyandhra Sankharavam’ cautioning leaders like BJD president and Orissa Chief Minister Navin Patnayak, AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Trinamool Congress chief and  West Bengal Chief  Minister Mamata Banerjee, betrays his desire to be in talking terms with them.

Jagan had cautioned these regional parties over the Congress’ suspected design of dividing States for electoral gains, while raising his voice against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

Jagan’s words are now being seen as a calculated move to signal his readiness to be part of an alternative front at the Centre. His strident opposition to the division of A.P. is in tune with the beliefs of parties like CPI (M), which is opposed to creation of smaller states.

Apart from CPI (M), parties like the NCP of Sharad Pawar and the Samajwadi Party are opposed to smaller states. NCP is currently part of the UPA and Pawar has recently declared that “there cannot be any untouchables in politics.”

Though the NCP kept quiet on the eve of UPA coordination committee that has met on July 30 to take a decision on AP bifurcation, statements  of Pawar in recent days indicate that he is likely to shift loyalties after the 2014 General elections.

All these parties, as apart from BJP, are likely to target the way the Congress leadership is dealing with the AP situation in the run-up to the next Lok Sabha elections. Going forward, the way Congress has handled the AP bifurcation issue may actually become an election issue in states having a sway of regional parties. Leaders may warn people to be wary of Congress and its ways. They can very well go to people saying that the Congress-led UPA has abandoned the spirit of federalism in proceeding to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh, without trying to convince its people.

YSR Congress sources say that Mr. Jagan is actually looking for a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative front.  The YSRCP chief is convinced that the popular mood in the nation is against the Congress and the UPA may not get a respectable number of seats this time.

YSRCP leaders also believe that the BJP and other NDA partners are also not in a position to win the required numbers to form the next government.

The YSR Congress sees an opportunity to be a force to reckon with and it is with this confidence that Jagan expressed confidence at the ‘Samaikya’ meeting, that by getting a good number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections, his party will ensure installment of a leader who is for a united Andhra Pradesh, as Prime Minister.

In the public rally at LB stadium, Jagan spoke of winning 30 seats raising eyebrows in some quarters. By taking up the ‘Samaikyandhra’ slogan, he hopes to reap the benefits in the Seemandhra region as well as in some pockets of Telangana, despite his stand.

An internal assessment done by the party after the CWC decision on July 30 to bifurcate A.P.,  had indicated that the YSRC will do well in Seemandhra and in those parts of Telangana, where the statehood sentiment is not strong.

The party plans to field strong candidates in Khammam, Mahabubnagar, Nagarkurnool, Chevella, Malkajgiri and Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituencies. It is also looking at Mahabubabad parliamentary constituency, where three Assembly segments fall in Khammam district. The YSR Congress is confident that there is a large concentration of people of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema in at least five Lok Sabha constituencies of Telangana region and the party will fare better in these constituencies.