Jagan Mohan Reddy’s release from jail has put all political parties in Andhra Pradesh into hyper active mode. With elections round the corner and Andhra Pradesh burning thanks to the Telangana issue, Jagan’s release and his future plans have forced all political parties to wear their thinking caps.
The Telegu Desam Party which has been playing hard to get would consider more seriously entering into the NDA’s fold following the release of Jagan. The fact is none in Andhra Pradesh thought that Jagan would be released before the elections. Naidu is likely to attend a meeting on October 2 at New Delhi in the presence of Narendra Modi. Although the speculation is that he may join the NDA, many in his party still maintain that there shall be no alliance until the results are declared.
With the release of Jagan, the YSR Congress party looks to becoming a stronger force. There is a fresh lease of life in the party and they hope to improve their standing in the Seema-Andhra region. However the YSR Congress will go alone and will tie up with none until the elections are over.
Sources in the YSR Congress party say that it would be suicidal for them to tie up with the Congress now. Not only will Jagan lose face has he launched the party in protest against Sonia Gandhi. Further the Congress is being seen as the villain in Seema-Andhra for dividing the state and an alliance would only mean that Jagan cannot flog the issue of a unified Andhra Pradesh.
The party that is the happiest is the Telangana Rastriya Samithi. In Jagan’s release they see a hope that the formation of the state would be delayed. They feel that in a bid to counter Jagan, the Congress may adopt a new strategy for Seema-Andhra and the only that would appear to work for now is to keep the state unified. The TRS gains if the state is unified since he would have an issue before the voter.
The thinking in the Congress is however very different. It realizes that it would have to sit in third position in Seema-Andhra unless it makes a drastic change in its decision on the Telangana issue. The Congress is however hoping that after the elections, Jagan would side with the UPA as he is not a natural ally of the NDA.
In Telangana, the Congress hopes to enter into an alliance with the TRS. However if the TRS fails to negotiate an alliance, then the Congress hopes that the TRS would support UPA at the centre. The entire idea is to polarize the votes in all the regions of Andhra Pradesh and make the best in the form of UPA alliances from a state where it is expecting to lose very badly.
(story first appeared on rediff.com)