May 30, 2012 12:15:05 am
As the Special CBI Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing till Thursday on a bail petition filed by Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy,there was growing discomfiture within the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh over the move backfiring on the party.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy called a meeting of his Cabinet colleagues on Tuesday to find out if party workers in their native districts are switching sides en masse to Jagan Mohan-led YSR Congress Party.
At least two Congress MLAs,A K Srinivas from Eluru and S Ranga Rao from Bobbili,have spoken up against Jagans arrest and expressed support. Several Congress MLAs from Kadapa,Kurnool,Anantapur and Srikakulam districts are also sending feelers to YSR Congress party leaders.
Andhra Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana is battling anger among Congress workers in Guntur district,who feel Jagan should have been left alone. However,Satyanarayana rubbished any such doubts on Tuesday: I am sure people will realise who Jagan is and how corrupt he is. He may win some seats but not all of them.
The arrest has reunited the YSR clan. Jagans uncle Y S Vivekananda Reddy,who had parted ways with him when he quit the Congress to launch the YSR Congress,patched up with him a day before he was called by the CBI for questioning. Vivekananda,who contested against Jagans mother Y S Vijayalaskhsmi in the Pulivendula bypolls and lost last May,was welcomed back into the family by her. While still in the Congress,he said: I am a loyal Congressman but the way my nephew is being treated,it is unfair. I have to be with him in his hour of distress. I am not thinking of party affiliations,it is time to be with my family members.
The powerful Reddy community has also rallied behind Jagan,with leaders cutting across political lines switching loyalties to come by his side. Former Telugu Desam Party MP M V Mysura Reddy was one of the first to move,joining the YSR Congress moments before Jagan was to leave for questioning.
In East and West Godavari,Guntur,Visakhapatnam and Krishna districts,Reddy community leaders,who were backing the Congress,have crossed over to the YSR Congress. Sources in the TDP said that some leaders who feel sidelined by N Chandrababu Naidu are also hobnobbing with YSR Congress leaders.
The Congresss hopes of gaining from Jagans absence in the election scene in the bypolls on June 12 have quickly dissipated. Far from winning any of the 18 Assembly constituencies and one parliamentary seat going to polls,Congressmen fear the party as well as TDP candidates will now lose their deposits.
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