Rama Krishna Sangem
YSR Congress president and Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy appears reconciled to chances of BJP going with TDP and Jana Sena in next summer elections to the assembly and Lok Sabha. That is the reason why Jagan on June 12, Monday told a public meeting at Krosur that: “I may not have the backing two leading Telugu dailies – Eenadu, Andhra Jothi, or TV 5 Chanel or an adopted son (Pawan Kalyan) or BJP with me”.
This is the first time, CM Jagan mentioned BJP and indicated that he wold be crossing swords with it in the coming elections. All these days, Jagan or his YCP leaders never attacked BJP. Now they are doing it. Till now, AP politics were fluid with BJP remaining neutral in a tug of war between ruling YCP one side, and the opposition TDP and Jana Sena the other side. This is, though BJP on paper an ally of Jana Sena.
For sometime, there are overtures from TDP president and former CM Chandrababu Naidu to BJP leadership that they should join him, so that they will get a decent number of seats in the assembly and LS. On its part, Jana Sena chief Power Star Pawan Kalyan too tried to persuade PM Modi and top brass of BJP that they should come along and join the opposition front to defeat Jagan in 2024.
BJP was undecided till recently. There are enough reasons to believe that PM Modi hasn’t forgotten how Naidu ditched him in 2018, months before general elections and joined hands with Congress. In fact, Modi and Naidu had past differences dating back to post-Godhra-Gujarat riots in 2001-02. At one time, Naidu, then CM of AP, prohibited then Gujarat CM Modi from entering Hyderabad city for a public meeting of BJP.
However, after Karnataka assembly elections, BJP which lost them badly, there is a realization on the part of the party’s top brass that they need to have some formal alliance where a certain number of MP seats are guaranteed. Jagan has excellent relations with PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. No other non-BJP CM got as easy access as Jagan with Modi and Shah.
But, Jagan is not ready to have an alliance with BJP. His stand is that: “When my entire party is with you, why do you need an alliance?” That sounds good as Jagan now has 23 out of 25 MPs in LS. He has good chances of winning again too. However, BJP leaders are nervous after Karnataka electoral defeat. A bird in hand is worth than the two in buses. That is their mindset now. For BJP, a formal alliance is better than an informal understanding.
Constant wooing by Naidu and regular follow up by Pawan Kalyan for an opposition front against Jagan, made BJP top brass rethink their strategy in Andhra. That is a reason why Naidu got an exclusive audience with Shah and BJP president JP Nadda in Delhi on June 4, Sunday. It is widely believed that Naidu convinced them to join an alliance against Jagan in 2024 summer.
That is evident from the stringent attacks from Nadda at his Srikalahasti meeting on June 10, Saturday and Shah at his Visakhapatnam meeting the day next – June 11, Sunday – on Jagan and his government. They made serious charges of corruption and lack of development against Jagan sarkar. The BJP leaders got strong retaliations from senior YCP leaders. Jagan summed up the situation at Krosur meeting on Monday, saying: “BJP may not be with me”.
He cleared the air.