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The constant political battle in Andhra Pradesh – taking on the Congress High Command




In the Congress, taking on the might of the Congress High Command (commonly meant to denote the duo of Sonia Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, and also reluctantly, Manmohan Singh) is something that is akin to a death wish, something that is quickly liable to get you kicked out of all your positions and finally from the party. The last people to do this were the leaders of the NCP, Sharad Yadav and company (and that too because they had their own support base and could afford to stand up for their own rights and power). However, the Congress does not really take kindly to somebody raising this banner of revolt, and as a result, are totally unused to such behavior. So, when something like this happens, and when the person doing this is able to show a popular base and there are not too many other alternatives, you can see the party wishing that all this somehow go away with them not having to take a decision.
In Andhra Pradesh, YSR was the undisputed leader of the party, and yet at the same time, was also faithful to the party high command, and hence was left in a position of power (from where he could also make a lot on the side for himself); so when he died in a tragic accident, there were no obvious successors (YSR had ensured that there could be no obvious challengers to himself in the party). His son set in motion a campaign to get himself selected as the successor, something that the Congress High command refused to support, partly because they did not want to get railroaded into making this choice and were not sure about the amount of control that could be exercised over the younger politician (and he had access to a huge amount of resources to rally support for himself).

The son, Jaganmohan Reddy, did not take kindly to this, and over a period of time has been presenting an attitude of rebellion against the party high command, using multiple methods. From time to time, he would make a comment that betrayed his impatience and expectation that he would become the chief minister. And then he started his public yatra, showcased as an event where he could meet families of those who committed suicide when YSR died, but was widely seen as a political event, as an attempt to showcase his support. The party tried a lot of attempts to stop him, including some direct threats, some political advice, many meetings, and also preventing other politicians from joining these public meetings. None of these seemed to work, and Jagan was defiant as usual.
And in the last several days, he seemed to have taken this to the next level, where the radio station owned by him spewed venom at the Congress high command (at Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh). The Congress was so shocked at this, that they asked for a report on all this, and reactions from leaders was disapproving, and yet no action taken so far. That remains the bottomline for any action against Jagan, trying to ensure that he does not rebel from the party.




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