The Rise Of Jagan & Why Naidu Failed
As the BJP is forming government again, that too with an increased majority in the Lok Sabha, Congress party supremo, Sonia Gandhi, AICC President Rahul Gandhi and newly appointed General Secretary, Priyanka Gandhi have ample time to introspect and analyse various reasons for their defeat.
The Congress is in dire straits in Andhra Pradesh as they could not convince people that it was the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) which gave a letter of support for bifurcation and it was the BJP which was promising to bifurcate the state the moment it is voted to power.
Neither in 2014, nor in 2019, could they effectively convey these facts to the public. Let us hope that the first family of Congress sits down and dwells over these aspects.
In 2014, the people of Andhra Pradesh have elected those very parties which were responsible for bifurcation, namely BJP and TDP.
The only party which opposed the bifurcation of the state was YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and it narrowly lost out in those elections. But in the recent elections, people of AP have rejected all the three parties responsible for bifurcation i.e. Congress, BJP and TDP and given an historic mandate to YSRCP.
The mandate was so overwhelming and unprecedented as YSRCP had won 151 Assembly seats out of 175 and 22 MPs out of 25.
YS Jaganmohan Reddy is the youngest among the contemporary politicians including Rahul Gandhi. His grit and determination is high as inspite of being lodged in jail for 16 months, his MLAs being poached and various other pressures he stood his ground and fought.
Most importantly, his presence among common people, fighting on various issues concerning voters, and his massively successful ‘Padayatra’ of 3400 kilometres spread over 14 months, ensured that he is firmly in the Chief Minister’s chair.
But he must be worried about the empty coffers of AP, thanks to irresponsible and wasteful expenditure of former Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, and implementation of various promises he has made to people during his Padyatra and his pet scheme, “Navaratna”.
Also he has to follow up with the centre for Special Category status and other promises made during bifurcation. It will be no easy task for YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
Jagan always used to always say that, God willing and with people’s blessings he will come to power. But apart from that it is the poor governance of Chandrababu that has ensured a massive win.
It is learnt that after the results, a shocked Naidu wondered if his party had “harassed” people so much that they rejected him in such a way.
It would serve him good if he realises how they had harassed people right from the formation of the new capital, Amravati, to “Janma Bhoomi” committees.
If we assume that he is realising this only after this defeat then we are wrong. A section of media has been reminding him of all these issues.
In fact, the “Sakshi” media group has led a campaign against the corrupt and self-serving policies of his party. This has left a bitter taste in his mouth and he tried to close down both Sakshi newspaper and Sakshi channel with all means at his disposal.
He even taunted journalist from that group at interactions with media. Instead, if he had read what was being reported here, not the media publications that acted as his pets, and acted upon it, maybe he would have been better placed as an opposition party as he is down to only 23 MLAs now.
Apart from trying to shut the media houses he even tried to see that YS Jagan is sent back to prison. He is the same person who has managed to stay afloat with stay orders obtained against all cases against him and tried to align with Congress and send Jagan to prison permanently.
BJP leaders from AP have been saying that Chandrababu used to only raise two issues whenever he met PM. During his 29 trips to New Delhi in five years, he wanted to know when the prime minister would send Jagan to jail and the second one is when they would increase the number of Assembly constituencies.
His present dismal state is because of missing a simple logic that popular and welfare governance would ensure his return to power. His attempts to make sure that the opposition leader is sent to prison thus decimating the opposition did not yield any results.
A section of the media, biased towards him, was reporting all that was being fed by him and they took people for a ride by showing them a dreamland that would be a reality in 2050, so much so that he himself started believing in it.
His present state is culmination of his living in that dream world, which was far from people and reality. Being into his 70s, he is not his former self and has no hopes of his son, who incidentally lost his first election.
He has gone around the country making personal attacks on Narendra Modi. Will this prove very costly as he has been getting away with stay orders? Only time will tell.
As a policy he has seen to it that there is no other leader in his party. Now who is that second rung leader who will rescue him?
The BJP has made massive inroads into West Bengal and Odisha apart from winning 3 from North Telangana and one from Telangana capital. But it has lost two from AP which they won in the previous term.
BJP should introspect this aspect and should help the beleaguered state in all respects and maybe grant special category status.
Will Congress leader Sonia Gandhi realise that the policy that only their stooges and second rung satraps should rule the states has come back to bite it? Their foolish decisions like not allowing YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s “Odarpu Yatra”, which he undertook after untimely death of his illustrious father, YS Rajasekher Reddy, who was solely responsible for UPA coming to power not once but twice, and putting him behind bars has eroded Congress from AP, which all through the history was a Congress bastion even after formation of TDP by NTR.
May be not in the corridors of Congress offices or it’s “War Room” but Sonia Gandhi and family may accept these as mistakes when they introspect within themselves.
(The writer is a senior journalist and a consulting editor of Sakshi TV)
(Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are those of the author’s alone and not necessarily those of The Lede)