Jagan discusses strategy with loyalists as some drift away

Friday, November 26, 2010

HYDERABAD - Congress MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy Friday went into a huddle with his loyalists to discuss the latest political developments in the state and chalk out strategy in the wake of Kiran Kumar Reddy becoming the new chief minister.

Some former ministers in the Rosaiah cabinet and at least 15 legislators called on Jagan, as the son of the late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy is popularly known, at his residence here.

Jagan arrived in Hyderabad Thursday night from Bangalore, where he had been recovering from neck pain.

Among those who met him were former ministers B. Srinivas Reddy and P. Subhash Chandra Bose, who had openly come out in support of Jagan, and P. Ramchandra Reddy, a known rival of Kiran Kumar. All three are likely to face the axe when Kiran Kumar constitutes his ministry.

Indicating that he was in no mood the obey the central leadership, the Jagan camp has declared that he would continue his ‘odarpu yatra’, aimed at meeting family members of those who died of shock or committed suicide following the death of his father in a helicopter crash last year.

Ambati Rambabu, a close confidant of Jagan, told reporters after meeting him that he would continue the campaign.

Nellore district Congress president and Jagan loyalist Gopal Reddy also warned that the party may meet the fate of Bihar if it failed to recognise a popular leader like Jagan. He said the party was bound to face problems if it ignored the Kadapa MP.

The Jagan camp is not too happy with the choice of the central leadership. Though Rajasekhara Reddy made Kiran Kumar the chief whip in 2004 and the speaker in 2009, Jagan always had differences with him. After the party retained power in 2009, it was Jagan who is said to have prevailed upon his father to ignore Kiran Kumar.

Jagan and his loyalists also reportedly discussed Rajya Sabha member K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao and some of the legislators from the group drifting towards Kiran Kumar.

KVP, a close friend of Rajasekhara Reddy, is believed to have dumped Jagan after the latter recently used his media outlets to target party president Sonia Gandhi. He held talks with central leaders Veerappa Moily and Ghulam Nabi Azad when they were in Hyderabad during the last two days.

Some of the legislators, who were considered loyalists of Jagan, were seen with Kiran Kumar after he was sworn in as chief minister Thursday.

A leader in Jagan camp said they were running around Kiran Kumar for ministerial berths and would come back if not inducted.

Sources close to Jagan said he was planning his strategy carefully since Kiran Kumar not only comes from his region (Rayalaseema) but also belongs to the powerful Reddy community. Kiran Kumar has also declared that he would continue and ensure proper implementation of the schemes launched by Rajasekhara Reddy, an issue with which Jagan always used to target Rosaiah.

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