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Is YS Jagan Mohan Reddy missing his electoral goals?
Political parties are in the run up to the forthcoming Andhra Pradesh Assembly polls. Main opposition party YSR Congress is also tightening its belt. How Jagan, who narrowly missed (with just 2.6 per centile votes) the 2014 polls will fare this time has become interesting for the poll enthusiasts.

Although the Telugu Desam Party won 102 seats in the elections, YSR Congress Party also gave a tough fight to its opponent. The TDP got 133, 72, 862 (46.3%) while YSRCP bagged 127,71,323 (44.7%) winning 67 seats. YSRCP was defeated with a small margin of 601,539 (2.6 %) votes carrying 35 seats. The party lost with a difference of 100 to 5000 votes connected to 26 seats. 

The statistics reveal that TDP came to power because of the help of matinee idol Pavan Kalyan and Bharatiya Janata Party. But the YSRCP stood on its own legs. His proposed alliance with the leftists was also withdrawn in the eleventh hour.  Owing to overconfidence Jagan refused to take the helping hand extended by Bharatiya Janata Party also, which together dealt a heavy blow to his party.  The prime reasons for YSRCP defeat were ascribed to Jagan's lack of political experience, obduracy and his excessive confidence in people support. It must be openly stated that the YSRCP lost a golden opportunity of capturing power without any alliance in 2014 polls.

People are anxious to know the answers to questions like "what is in store for Jagan? People's acceptance for Jagan is more or less? YSRCP cadre rose or fell? How he is going to face the strong candidates in the next elections?"  Although the voters' mindset appears to be in favor of him now, in comparison to 2014 polls, his victory seems to be illusory. Gaining envious financial strength by his arch rival Chandrababu Naidu and his colleagues, flexibility in forging alliances, timely shift of strategies, expertise in make –believe-art by repeatedly uttering lies and patronizing his pro-media are considered plus points to the TDP.

Comparatively, in financial strength, the YSRCP is nowhere near the TDP. Jagan often quotes 'peoples support, YSR welfare schemes and ethical politics' as his strong points. All the people support he talks about is by virtue of his late father and chief minister Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy alone. How long people remember his welfare schemes? If at all it is true why his mother Vijayamma could not get victory in Visakhapatnam in 2014 poll battle. Jagan also talks about moral politics. But people are not in a position to believe such words of any political leader these days. Those who resort to irregular ways of earning money can amass huge wealth in short time. Exceptions to this reality are scarce. Further Jagan did not try to prevent the defection of some leaders from his party. Meanwhile Chandrababu was benefited to some extent by welcoming the defectors into his party. Though the YSRCP candidates spent crores of rupees on par with the TDP candidates during the last elections, the amounts were misused in the middle. There were allegations that the funds allotted to most of the assembly candidates by the MPs for poll management   were used for their personal needs. It was further alleged that the in-charges of the constituencies damaged the winning chances of some corporators by not spending the funds meant for them.

Poll tie-ups vital

At present, the era of alliances is on at the national level. Similar situation is continuing in the Telugu states too. In 1994, the TDP led by NTR came to power by forging alliance with the Leftists. Chandrababu won the elections by joining hands with the BJP in 1999; YSR came to power with the alliance of the TRS party in 2004. But in 2009 assembly elections YS Rajashekhara Reddy overconfidently went to the polls without any alliance and won the polls with a very narrow majority (156 seats only). Without heeding the bitter experience of his father, Jagan independently contested in 2014 and was defeated, of course with a small margin. Jagan appears to be committing the same mistake again. Jagan did not sail along with the leftists in opposing the ruling party. He even ignores the basic lesson in politics that 'Our enemy's enemy is our friend." YSRCP cadre hoped that Jagan would join hands with the BJP after Babu snapped his relations with it. That did not happen. Jagan did not make any effort to befriend with Pavan Kalyan even after he (Pavan) daringly opposed Babu. Apart from that, he recently hurled hurting comments against Pavan Kalyan's polygamy dwarfing his own image and was blamed by many for it. It would have been, to some extent tolerable if any of his party representatives did so, but it was unbefitting that Jagan himself indulged in such a self-belittling talk.  Instead he would have utilized Pavan Kalyan  to attract Kapu's votes as they are likely to show considerable impact in the ensuing polls. Now at least Jagan is well advised to get the support of former minister and senior kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham .  To invite other leaders into his party, It would be better if he formed a team of seniors and discuss things with different sections of people and take their suggestions to streamline the poll strategy. In crucial matters collective decisions play a decisive role than individual decisions. Some party leaders who do not  want to be named, are expressing their anguish that Jagan was not taking them into confidence nor taking collective decisions and following unilateral ways.

YS Rajasekhara Reddy always wore a smile on his face in spite of irritating comments by his opponents in the assembly or outside. But Jagan is different. Further he has no clear cut agenda to attract the wealthy, upper and lower middle classes. 'Hate Babu Campaign' alone will not help him. He needs to convince the masses as to what he intended to do.

Advantage Jagan

At present, people are not happy with the Chandrababu government. There is anti-wave to Chandrababu in Rayalaseema and north Andhra. Both of them are of the view that the so called development being touted by Babu is concentrated in Capital Amaravati alone.  Rayalaseema Reddies hold that the Kammas of Coastal Andhra are dominating them in all fields. Politicians or rich sections of Rayalaseema or north Andhra have not purchased even a cent of land so far after Amaravati was declared as capital city of Andhra Pradesh three years ago. It is evident that they have no interest in the place. If Jagan is successful in focusing on the disenchantment of the two areas, the YSRCPs prospects will improve. Jagan must do this without loss of time. Jagan experienced a great loss due to adamantly opposing Sonia Gandhi. Later his one-sided decisions, uncompromising attitude further damaged his party. If he fails to benefit from the advantages available right in front of him now, the future of himself and that of lakhs of those who trust the YSR Congress party will be jeopardized. Jagan would do well to take decisions ever remembering his party and those attached to his party. In case he fails to succeed in the ensuing polls, both his prospects and that of the lakhs of his party cadre will be in trouble.  If he cannot come to power this time, he may have to take up yet another "Odarpu yatra" (consolation march) to console those who will be down both mentally and financially.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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