Political Pickle

Congress reaches out to Jagan, YSRCP says talk after 23 May

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The Congress has made the first move in Telugu territory. Senior leader KV Thomas is reported to have spoken to YV Subba Reddy, who was MP from Ongole in the last Lok Sabha and is Jaganmohan Reddy’s uncle. 

“Yes, they are trying to talk to us. But we prefer to wait. They asked to meet but we have conveyed that it is not necessary at this juncture. Anything that needs to be discussed should be done only after the results come out on 23 May,” said a YSRCP leader, privy to the discussion. 

Subba Reddy confirmed to Filter Kaapi that any decision on who to support will be taken only after the numbers are clear. 

“Special category status for Andhra Pradesh is our pre-condition for support for any party at the Centre, be it the BJP or the Congress. Jagan has made it clear on several occasions,” said Subba Reddy.

Even though Congress’ new friend Chandrababu Naidu is confident of winning Andhra Pradesh, its independent outreach to YSRCP suggests the party is keeping its options open. With Delhi’s assessments indicating that Jagan could be presiding over a bank of 18-20 MPs, Congress leaders are suddenly reminiscing about Jagan having Congress blood and that by virtue of being the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s son, he belongs to the Congress ecosystem. 

“The same Congress party also sent him to jail,” retorted a YSRCP leader blunty. It is an indication that though Jagan had spoken during the election campaign about having forgiven the Congress, the hurt remains among senior party leaders.

But the bigger hurdle is the Congress embrace of Chandrababu Naidu. The Telugu Desam chief has emerged a mover and shaker on the national scene trying to cobble together a formidable anti-BJP front and meets Rahul Gandhi every other week. 

Will Naidu’s presence in the Congress-led opposition ranks be a dampener, Filter Kaapi asked Subba Reddy.

“He is the reason we are avoiding,” said Subba Reddy.

So does that mean the YSRCP won’t reciprocate a Congress gesture so long as Naidu is with them?

“They will dump Naidu, we don’t need to tell,” says Reddy. 

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