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The Congress moving away from using the legacy of YSR in Andhra Pradesh – too much of a connection with Jagan




YSR was the undisputed leader of the Congress in Andhra Pradesh, and gave it multiple election victories, both in the state, and in the central elections. As a consequence, he was highly respected, left to create his own business empire and run roughshod over the other Congress politicians in the state of Andhra Pradesh. However, when he died in a helicopter crash, the entire situation changed over a period of time. His son, Jagan wanted to become the Chief Minister of the state in the place of YSR, and considered it his right. The Congress high command could not agree to hand over the reigns of the state to a person who was highly rich, and ambitious, and also propagate a dynasty that would reduce the power of the Congress high command in the state. As a result, the Congress stood firm, did not allow its local MLA’s and MP’s to associate themselves with Jagan (with the result that only the most determined followers of Jagan stood by him when he went on his Yatra).
Eventually, Jagan decided to quit the Congress and challenged it directly in the by-elections that were caused, and then gave the Congress a huge shock by winning the seat (and his mother won the local MLA seat) by a huge margin. This put the Congress in a position that it would not be sure about its support base in a wide area of the state, and with the Telangana issue putting more doubt about the total support that the Congress could expect to get in the next election.

YSR had launched a number of schemes that gave huge electoral benefit to the Congress, such as the Rs 2-a-kg rice, Arogyasri, Indiramma housing, etc. All of these schemes were very popular and gave a huge boost to the Congress and to the personal image of YSR. Till now, they have been associated with YSR; further the Congress has always sought to retain the image of YSR being a Congress icon. However, it now seems that the Congress is coming to realize that the legacy of YSR is something that would not really benefit the Congress. His son, Jagan is determined to milk the legacy of YSR as much as he can, and right now he seems to be succeeding in this, with the net result that any effort that the Congress takes to promote the legacy of YSR would have a much greater benefit to Jagan rather than to the Congress.
As a result, the Congress now wants to claim all these popular schemes as Congress schemes rather than YSR schemes, and also has started its efforts to reduce the projection of YSR (so no more photos of YSR in official propaganda, replaced by that of the Chief Minister and Sonia Gandhi); one is not sure how much it will succeed. Such efforts typically take some time to succeed, and in some cases, can lead to an increased air of sympathy for YSR which his son will be more than willing to encash (link to article):

After the CM’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi in Delhi last week, the information and public relations (I&PR) department has prepared three major advertisement campaigns related to Indiramma housing, women empowerment and farmers issues. All of them being telecast in the electronic media beginning Wednesday are without YSR photographs. They carry photographs of Kiran Kumar Reddy and in some places those of the Congress chief.
With regard to the portraits of YSR at various offices in the secretariat, instructions have been given to bring them down. Some ministers have already removed them. A large portrait of YSR that used to adorn the office of the previous press secretary is conspicuous by its absence.




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