quits Congress with mother, also resigns as MP
Fourteen months after Y.S.
Rajasekhara Reddy died in a helicopter crash, his son Y.S.
Jaganmohan Reddy Monday resigned from the Congress and from
parliament. Jagan's mother Vijayalakshmi also quit the Congress as
well as her Andhra Pradesh assembly seat.
New Delhi: Taking his
fight against the Congress to the heart of the national capital,
former MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy Tuesday put up a massive show of
strength with 31 Andhra Pradesh legislators and two party MPs and
declared that he was doing it a favour by not bringing down the
Adding to the woes of the ruling Congress, which is already facing
the heat on the issue of separate statehood to Telangana, the
young leader, 38, arrived in New Delhi in a special train with
3,000 supporters and went straight to Jantar Mantar, the
186-year-old observatory in central Delhi that became the
centrestage of his protest.
Accompanied by two MPs, Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy from Nellore and
Sabbam Hari from Anakapalli, legislators, former ministers, other
leaders and thousands of supporters, Jagan, as he is popularly
known, began a daylong fast here to highlight the "injustice" to
Andhra Pradesh in the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal Award and
the plight of farmers.
Amongst the legislators were 24 MLAs from the Congress and four
from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Praja Rajyam Party (PRP),
his associates said. Three members of legislative council
belonging to Congress party are also supporting Jagan at the fast.
"Currently I am doing a favour to the Congress party. If my MLAs
resign, the government there will fall. In fact I am a gentleman
so I am doing a favour to the Congress party by not asking my
people to resign. If I wanted to seriously do it I would have done
it long back," a confident Jagan, who plans to formally launch his
political party in the coming days, told the media.
"My people are also saying in 2014 they will be contesting on my
party ticket and not on Congress party ticket. They are openly
saying that they are doing a favour to the Congress party by
continuing in the party."
The numbers game could prove him right -- the Congress has 156
members in the 294-member state assembly. It requires 149 members
for a simple majority.
Faced with the challenge from the son of its charismatic chief
minister, the late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, the Congress hit back
saying that its government was not under threat.
"The Congress government was never in any kind of a threat, is not
in any threat and neither will be," said party spokesperson Manish
Was the confidence misplaced?
Congress legislator and actress Jayasudha, for instance, was
categorical that she respected the party and its president Sonia
Gandhi but would follow Jagan.
"I am a film actress and I was invited by the late YSR to join
politics... Naturally, I will also follow Jaganmohan Reddy," she
told a TV channel.
A senior Congress leader admitted that Jagan's protest in the
capital was a challenge to the party. "The party has to tread
carefully as it has a thin majority in the state assembly," the
leader told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
A large stretch of Parliament Street was blocked off by Jagan's
supporters, with a dais built in the middle of the road for the
Jagan's associates said the protest was to highlight the
"injustice" done to Andhra Pradesh in the Krishna waters tribunal
award as also the plight of the state's farmers who had suffered
heavily due to cyclones and heavy rains in the past months.
Jagan resigned from the Congress and his Kadapa parliamentary seat
after accusing the party leadership of trying to divide the family
by luring his uncle Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy with a ministerial
berth in the Andhra Pradesh cabinet.
Jagan has been on a collision course with the Congress since the
leadership rejected his claim to the chief minister's chair
following the death of his father, the late chief minister Y.S.
Rajasekhara Reddy, in a helicopter crash Sep 2, 2009. He moved the
Election Commission last week for registering his newly-floated