FOR Congress in Andhra Pradesh it was indeed an unlucky day on May 13. Congress which spent much of its machinery in engineering a defeat of rebel Congress leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy contesting for Kadapa Lok Sabha seat and his mother Vijayamma (widow of the late YS Rajashekar Reddy) for the Pulivendla Assembly seat faced a humiliating defeat.
Sonia fielded state Health Minister DL Ravindra Reddy and opposition Telugu Desam fielded Mysoora Reddy, a Rajya Sabha Member. In Pulivendla, Congress fielded Vivekananda Reddy (brother of the late YS Rajashekar Reddy) thus pitting brother-in-law against Jagan’s mother. The Congress attempted to bring a split in the family of the late YSR but unfortunately the move backfired with voters backing Jagan and his mother to the hilt. Vijayalaxmi of YSR Congress Party bagged the assembly seat with a majority of 85,191 votes, breaking the record of her late husband who won only two years ago by 68,681 votes. She polled 114,198 votes while her brother-in-law YS Vivekananda Reddy of the ruling Congress secured only 28,626 votes. Though Kadapa has been a pocket borough of YSR family, the way Jagan had bamboozled the Congress with his remarkable victory has surprised even political pundits.
Like never before in the Kadapa parliamentary constituency Jagan secured a thumping majority of over 5 lakh votes over his nearest rival DL Ravindra Reddy of the Congress. The Congress and TDP candidates lost deposits, a first in the district. It is also for the first time in their respective political careers that Mysoora and Ravindra lost their deposits.While licking the wounds of the crushing defeat inflicted on them by Jagan’s YSR Congress Party in the Kadapa and Pulivendula by-elections the debate focused on what has gone wrong and where?.
Right from the day one Jagan declared that its a fight between Sonia and him. Though the grand old Congress party is in a denial mode, the writing on the wall was clear even before the election results were out. The ‘Kadapa (self-pride) won hands down against ‘Delhi (arrogance), Jagan had made no bones about this factor during his intense campaigning.
“The verdict is a slap on the face of Congress which totally ignored people’s issues and problems,” said Jagan, adding, “this result sounds the bugle for the downfall of the Congress government in Andhra.” He further added, “Everybody is taking about the downfall of this inept Congress government as people are fed up with it.”
While Jagan would now spare no efforts to claim that he’s the true inheritor of YSR legacy as he had projected this by poll as a fight between Sonia Gandhi and YSR legacy. But what stood out in the landslide victory for the YSR Congress chief was the resolve of the electorate to teach a fitting lesson to Sonia Gandhi and her cronies for the ‘ill-treatment’ meted out to YSR family after the demise of Rajasekhara Reddy.
Even Sonia Gandhi was a result of replacement of Rajiv. So, why only in the case of Jagan. If a mere lady (then) like Sonia and political novice (then) like Rajiv can handle the entire nation many believe Jagan has the capability to run a state like AP where he already enjoys a stronghold in all aspects.