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The clash in Andhra Pradesh between the Congress command structure and Jaganmohan Reddy




Even a couple of months back, who would have visualized that the situation in Andhra Pradesh would come to this. In the Congress, the High Command (leading upto the Gandhi family in New Delhi) is the supreme, and there is absolutely no chance for anyone to oppose their decisions (or even hint at defiance of their diktats). So, for somebody to explicitly go against the Congress High Command means that either the person has a huge amount of political power themselves, or is going to be on the way out fairly soon. In the case of the late YSR’s son, Jagan, it seems more likely that the first option is more likely.
Jagan’s father, the late YSR, was the undisputed leader of the Congress in Andhra Pradesh, and was able to ensure that there was no question of his supremacy in the state unit, delivering the critically important state to the Congress in both state and national elections. At the same time, he also displayed a loyalty to the High Command, which ensured that he was not seen as a threat in any way and left undisturbed. It is also alleged that he used this power to derive a huge business empire, earning large amounts of money.

Now, after YSR’s death, and given that in the Congress, the leadership of the state, and of individual seats can be passed onto family members, Jagan would have expected that his claim for becoming the Chief Minister would be treated seriously (he did inherit the support of a number of MLA’s, and all the business empire of his father). Yet, at some point, the Congress decided that even with the tragedy of YSR’s death, this was also a time to remove some of the influence of a single strong leader, and decided to deny Jagan the claim to being the Chief Minister, and also because it did not want to be seen to be acting under the strong pressure mounted by Jagan. So, a relatively spineless Rosiah was made the Chief Minister, even with having Ministers and MLA’s who continued to be loyal to Jagan.
And then, this latest move by Jagan to resume his influence and put pressure. He started out with a yatra, apparently to meet the family members of the various people who committed suicide after the death of YSR; but in the manner of realpolitic, this was seen as a political movement, that could give him a huge impetus if left unchecked. Further, if he was allowed to go on, this would in turn make it clear to him that he could go on being defiant and not really see any action against him.
Now, the High Command is in a tight situation. It has already made it clear that it does not Jagan to go ahead with this Odarpu yatra, and yet he has refused to agree. Further, his loyalists, seeing that he is determined and not facing any action, are also moving ahead to support him (and he would expect them to continue with their support). Now, what seems to the steps taken by the High Command is that they will snip at his support base, telling his supporters that if they continue to support him, then they do so at their own peril and could face action if they continue to do so.




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