Rama Krishna Sangem
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and YSR Congress president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s choice for four Rajya Sabha seats this year surprised political circles in AP. Particularly the selection of backward classes movement leader R Krishnaiah and senior advocate at Supreme Court S Niranjan Reddy. Both are first time entrants into Parliament. Krishnaiah was a former MLA in Telangana in 2014-18.
As ruling YSR Congress has enough strength to win all the four seats, the candidates – Vijay Sai Reddy, sitting RS MP, renominated, Beeda Mastan Rao, another first timer to parliament, and Krishnaiah and Niranjan Reddy – will be elected unopposed (TDP may not field its candidate as they have sufficient number of MLAs). After this election, Jagan party’s strength in the Upper House will go up from present 5 to 9.
The party leader in RS Vijay Sai Reddy will get a front bench seat.
Krishnaiah and Niranjan are from Telangana. Though not heard loud enough, there are murmurs in the opposition camp over their selection. It is a well known practice that ruling parties select candidates for RS suiting their political requirements and internal and external dynamics. None can question the choice of Krishnaiah or Niranjan on the basis of their domicile status.
Even in the last round of AP Rajya Sabha polls, Jagan has selected businessman Parimal Nathwani, a Gujarati, Previous ruling party TDP backed candidates like Nirmala Sitharaman, Suresh Prabhu while Congress and BJP wherever in power sent many of their leaders to RS from states where they have enough MLAs. As Vijay Sai Reddy said: “it is not a question of who is from which state, but how a person would be useful to interests of the state that sends them to RS”.
From that yardstick, both Niranjan and Krishnaiah are sure to help improve the image of CM Jagan. As both are good orators, they can speak on the issues pertaining to Andhra. 52 year old Niranjan Reddy, admired by many in the legal fraternity for his sharp grasp of juridical issues, is expected to act as mediator between the Centre and AP on some pending matters. Currently, he looks after the legal matters of CM Jagan.
68 year old Krishnaiah, also a law graduate, is a veteran BC leader. He won as MLA from LB Nagar in Hyderabad city on TDP ticket in 2014. But, later, in 2018 assembly elections, he contested on Congress ticket from Miryalaguda assembly seat and lost. Krishnaiah should not be seen as someone who belongs to one political party, but as an activist of BC movement at the national level, say his supporters.
Krishnaiah actively campaigned for Jagan in 2019 elections. Jagan now wants to improve his position among BCs of Andhra. Krishnaiah is the right choice for Jagan to establish his bias for BCs. No other BC leader from Andhra would have equaled to Krishnaiah as far as projecting pro-BC image. Krishnaiah has a large following among BCs of Andhra. That will be politically useful to Jagan.