A senior leader of the party, who is a known loyal to former Chief Minister Dr. Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, felt that two main developments contributed to this downward trend. It was mainly sending signals to the people that their party is in hurry for a deal with the Congress. He recalled that his party leaders stopped criticising Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and also, nowadays, not raising the issue of mystery behind the death of Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy.
According to him, the people started worshipping Y S Jaganmohan Reddy due to his demonstrated heroism by challenging the unchallenged leader in the national politics at present, Sonia Gandhi. “Jaganmohan Reddy has no history of serving the people unlike his father. His father’s image will help him only to reach them. But ultimately he has to prove his leadership qualities to gain their confidence. He had shown guts to question the authority of Sonia Gandhi, people started moving around him,” he added.
Another senior leader of the party admitted that it would be delicate situation for the party leadership to convince the people without continuing their revolt against Congress high command. He also said that frequent feelers, being conveyed by Vijayamma through her interviews to selected English newspapers to the Congress leadership that she is ready for a `deal’, are also damaging party’s image among masses. This has been giving signals to the people that Jaganmohan Reddy family is worrying to come out from numerous court cases, corruption allegations and to get bail for him.
Meanwhile, sudden uproar over corruption allegations against Jaganmohan Reddy’s brother-in-law Anil are making the party defensive. Both BJP and TDP leaders have been accusing that Brother Anil and his wife Sharmila had earned huge amounts using Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy’s power under the shadow of religious propagation and invested in several companies. Surprisingly, most of senior leaders in Y S R Congress Party remained silent over these allegations.
Though Sharmila’s ‘Pada yatra’ had started with big fanfare from Rayalaseema district, the response was discoursing in Telangana districts. As a result, she was forced to cut-off her tour in Telangana districts without touching key districts like Warangal, Karimnagar and Medak, where the heat of Telangana stir is at peak. Even the response in Guntur district is also said to be not as expected.
The election to Legislative Council from Assembly has sent warning signals to party’s senior leaders, who have been struggling with Jaganmohan Reddy since its inception. As the lone seat that the party had won, as given to a newly admitted former Telugu Desam Party leaders, most of seniors who attempted their luck for the seat were shocked. A former minister, who was closely associated with Dr Rajasekhara Reddy, openly claimed at the party headquarters that the seat was given to Mr Adireddy Appa Rao only due to latter’s `money power’. According to the former minister, he has assets worth Rs 400 crores and he reportedly has given big amount towards `party fee’.
The `leaked’ appointments of coordinators for various assembly segments also led to severe discontent among senior party leaders. As these appointments were given an impression in due course those coordinators will be party’s candidates in the forthcoming Assembly elections and most of the people appointed were recently admitted into the party, and seniors are sensing that they are being `let down’ for their loyalty towards the party leadership.
Most of the party leaders are hoping that Jaganmohan Reddy may be released from jail on bail any time after April, 2013. However, they are suspecting that Congress leadership may attempt for his pro-longed detention by framing fresh charges against him by the Directorate of Enforcement. That would lead to shifting him to Tihar Jail in Delhi. As presently, he is lodged in Chenchalguda jail, Hyderabad, and he is able to be in constant touch with the party affairs and giving his directions from time to time. TDP leaders are accusing him of turning Chenchalguda jail as his party office with active collusion with N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s government. However, if he is shifted to Tihar Jail, it would be difficult for him to continue his grip on the affairs of his party.
In his absence, as some of his close relatives are attempting to hijack the party leadership and encouraging their own interested people, several party senior leaders are worried about their political future. The public discontent with the party leadership was also reflected in the poor attention that is being received by protest dharnas being organised by Smt. Vijayamma. Unlike on similar earlier occasions, her recent dharna in Sattenapalli protesting against irregular power supply failed to attract wide attention from the people and also from her own party leaders.
As most of YSR Congress Party leaders are attempting to corner TDP leadership every time and showing lenient attitude towards Congress high command, a party insider admitted that their claim of shunting out Congress party from state politics is diluting. The party leadership expected that they can manage all votes of Muslim community with Jaganmohan Reddy’s close association with Owaisi brothers. The MIM’s decision to withdraw their support to Congress governments at the Center and also in the state helped to boost the morale of Jaganmohan Reddy’s followers.
However, after Owaisi brothers got locked in problems, present indications available shows that they had reached some compromise with the Congress high command. As a result, they will remain away from Y S R Congress Party.
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