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Rising BJP, depleting TD set up a political threesome

THE ASIAN AGE. | KESARI
Published : Aug 25, 2019, 5:04 am IST
Updated : Aug 25, 2019, 5:04 am IST

The BJP central leadership might work to a centre-state thaw, but local saffron leaders have sensed an opportunity and are flexing muscle.

Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy
 Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy

When the Andhra Pradesh elections results came in May, the mandate reflected only one Bahubali in state politics — YSRC chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Congress was dead, the BJP failed to make an impression, the Telugu Desam was hit by a tsunami of anti-incumbency that posed existential threats, and the experimental alternative of Jana Sena was rejected outright.

It is to Reddy’s credit that a series of serious faux paus has given N. Chandrababu Naidu a glimmer of hope and given a green signal to the rise of the saffron party — all because of his twin obsessions, wrecking revenge on Naidu, and the communal-caste promotion of the Christian-Reddy community.

From demolishing public buildings of the Naidu era to ensuring drone surveillance on the former CM’s home to sending him packing from his own state when floods entered the latter’s house, and a legally and economically ill-advised review of the previous government’s projects for the sole goal of projecting a clean image of himself — Reddy has given the Telugu Desam a lease of political life. After such a drubbing, the opposition normally goes into hiding the first year; instead, as Reddy toured the United States on a personal holiday, the opposition leader got an opportunity to reach out to the people.

Learning little from Naidu’s failure to maintain good relations with the Centre, Reddy not only rebuked and dismissed the advisories from central government ministers and bureaucrats on not going ahead with cancelations and reviews of projects, but has also taken wrong political decisions.

Reddy boycotted Narendra Modi’s swearing-in though he initially wanted to, possibly under peer pressure — wherein Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and DMK chief M.K. Stalin choose to not fly to Delhi. This prompted social media memes comparing the three to Bollywood movie, 3Idiots, though all three sent a discourteous message to the BJP high command, the maximum impact was on Jagan Reddy, who is like Raju in the movie who suffers the dean’s wrath because he is the poorest among the trio.

The BJP central leadership might work to a centre-state thaw, but local saffron leaders have sensed an opportunity and are flexing muscle. The state’s yellow is morphing into saffron. With TD losing leaders and cadre rapidly to the BJP, an interesting triangular situation similar to neighbouring Telangana, is evolving.

The absence of a large Muslim population in Andhra Pradesh, or any history of communal tension would have helped the BJP to grow rapidly but the Christian angle is a good alternative.

With allegations of evangelists gaining strength under the YSRC regime and given a licence to convert Hindus, to the constant battle being waged against the sanctity of Tirumala — the advertisements on tickets becoming the first point of confrontation — there is little doubt that the first 100 days have set the match — Jagan Reddy versus BJP, though the TD might fare better than initially presumed.

Tags: jagan mohan reddy, chandrababu naidu