YS Bharathi to take charge as YSRCP president as Jagan Mohan Reddy plans mass contact programme?

YS Jagan wants to take up a programme similar to the padayatra he headed during 2014-2019 which catapulted him to power in the 2019 elections.

ByRama Mandava

Published Jul 04, 2024 | 4:00 PM Updated Jul 04, 2024 | 5:40 PM

File photo of YS Jagan and YS Bharathi

Is YS Jagan Mohan Reddy contemplating to entrust the party leadership to his wife YS Bharathi?

After his ignominious defeat in the recent Assembly elections, the YSRCP chief has more or less recovered from the shock. He is at present seriously planning to build the party brick-by-brick once again.

Reddy’s archrival Chandrababu Naidu, along with Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan and BJP by his side, pulled off a landslide victory in Andhra Pradesh, leaving him fretting and fuming.

He is now slowly picking up pieces of what remains of his party, knowing that the road ahead is tortuous, bumpy and uphill.

Also Read: TDP government pulls down under-construction YSRCP office building

Yet another padayatra?

According to party sources, Reddy, who is no quitter, wants to take up a programme similar to the padayatra he headed during 2014-2019 which catapulted him to power in the 2019 general elections.

Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is very resolute in purpose and tenacious in action, is understood to have decided to remain among the people as his wife takes care of the party.

He has decided to be out in the midst of people in the next five years to regain Paradise Lost. He is understood to be making an introspection of what went wrong that made the people despise him so much and take corrective measures.

There are already signs that many important party leaders are showing signs of fatigue and are contemplating leaving the party. They are looking at the BJP as they are persona non grata in TDP.

Chandrababu Naidu too has repeatedly said in the past that no leader from the YSRCP will be taken into the TDP.

But BJP being an alliance partner, it is easier said than done for YSRCP leaders to join the saffron brigade without TDP taking a serious exception. Though there may not be any major developments in the near future, the YSRCP leaders are toying with the idea of changing their plumes.

Also Read: Chandrababu Naidu keeps his vow, returns to AP Assembly as chief minister

Reviving and rebuilding

As the cracks that appeared at the time of the party’s debacle begin to widen, Reddy is understood to be seriously contemplating bringing in Bharathi and entrusting the reins of the party to her.

In the present circumstances, as no leader seems interested in continuing in it, the ex-chief minister is all set to make a fresh beginning to rebuild the party.

All along, Bharathi has confined herself to the background but remained the endo-skeleton of the party, extending support to her husband through his thick and thin. She has proved to be an able administrator by running the Jagati Publications which promotes Sakshi newspaper.

Now Bharathi has to stand by Jagan Mohan Reddy once again as he is facing the most trying times in his career. He had not seen a more humiliating and tormenting crisis than the recent Assembly elections defeat.

Also Read: BJD sides with Opposition, YSRCP with NDA over criticism of PM’s speech

Founding YSRCP

After the demise of his father— YS Rajashekar Reddy, in a helicopter crash in 2009, Jagan Mohan Reddy wanted to step into his father’s shoes, but Congress put its foot firmly down.

The Congress detested the streak of hubris that he always bares and his unwillingness to go on his knees before party supremo Sonia Gandhi.

It did not take long for him to quit Congress and float his party YSRCP in March 2011. Most of the YSR loyalists and even some leaders in the TDP joined Jagan Mohan Reddy, as he began emerging as a tall leader.

On 27 May 2011, the CBI arrested him, on allegations of being in possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The CBI began investigating the charges against him on a direction from the high court after the Congress leader and the then minister P Shankar Rao filed a petition in the court seeking a probe by the country’s premier investigation agency.

In 2012, 18 MLAs who joined the YSRCP were disqualified, while Nellore’s MP resigned. In the by-elections that followed in March, YSRCP won 15 of the 18 seats, while the Congress won two and TRS (now BRS) secured one seat.

Interestingly, Jagan Mohan Reddy’s sister Sharmila and their mother Vijayamma lent support to him while he was in jail.

Also Read: YSRCP’s support for Bills in Parliament will be ‘issue based’

Lack of support from family

However, his mother and sister broke away from him. YS Sharmila has now joined the Congress party in Andhra Pradesh.  As the APCC chief, Sharmila even contested from the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency against YSRCP’s Avinash Reddy.

She further supported the charges of YS Sunitha that her father and former minister YS Vivekananda Reddy was done to death allegedly at the instance of Avinash Reddy, who is a protege of Jagan Mohan Reddy, on the eve of the 2019 general elections.

Jagan Mohan Reddy and his wife Bharathi are left on their own now, with the party collapsing like nine pins.

They have to build their house once again amidst fears of CBI moving the court against bail granted to him and with uncertainty looming large on whose side the BJP would remain.

The BJP was Jagan’s invisible protector, but the saffron party backing him now remains to be seen, With TDP now being part of the BJP-led- NDA which is the ruling coalition in Andhra Pradesh.

(Edited by Sumavarsha Kandula)

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