YSR ghost still haunts Congress
By R Prithvi Raj - HYDERABAD
Published: 05th Aug 2012 08:48:16 AM
The Congress in Andhra Pradesh is precariously placed on the issue of embracing YSRs legacy. The renewed demand that the Congress should embrace YSR’s legacy rather than abandon it came after YSR’s alter ego and Rajya Sabha member KVP Ramachandra Rao’s emotional outburst at a function in Hyderabad. “YSR is alive in the hearts of every Congress worker even though his picture does not find place in Gandhi Bhavan,” he said, but later clarified that his words of admiration for YSR should not be construed as his intention to move closer to Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and that he was only trying to focus on the good works that late YSR had done for the Congress in its own interests.
After Jagan Reddy’s scorching electoral victory in the recent by elections where he heavily drew on his late father YSR’s legacy, the argument that the Congress should not abandon YSR is coming back with disturbing frequency like the proverbial Bottle Imp. There have been vocal supporters of late YSR’s regime, but their voice remained subdued till the recent by elections since they were afraid of the party leadership mistaking them for Jagan Reddy supporters.
The conundrum over whether or not to stake a claim on YSR’s legacy has been there since Jagan Reddy left the Congress and founded his own party in 2010. As a majority of the ministers in the present cabinet were those who were handpicked by YSR himself, they kept shying away from attacking YSR even after the CBI mentioned his name in the FIR and arrested Jagan Reddy for several omissions and commissions during the late YSR’s rule.
After KVP opened up, MLC K Janardhan Reddy wondered what was wrong in KVP’s argument. “There are quite a number of YSR admirers in the party and the Congress cannot afford to lose them.” Even before KVP’s emotional outburst, former minister and Telangana leader Komatireddy Venkata Reddy had gone on record saying that it is not possible to forget YSR even one wants to. “He is there in the hearts of the people,” he said.
Though KVP later said he had no plans of joining J camp, Jagan Reddy’s detractors went for KVP’s jugular. “In order to regain some political clout, KVP is raking up the issue of the YSR legacy. By doing this, on the one hand, he can rally all the anti-chief minister forces within the party behind him, and on the other, ensure his political survival in a situation where Jagan Reddy will have an important role. This is because apart from the Congress, he is also being shunned by the YSR family including Jagan Reddy,” said a leader.
Nizamabad MP Madhu Yashki Goud and Rajya Sabha member V Hanumantha Rao, who has an axe to grind in attacking YSR and Jagan Reddy, suspected a deep rooted conspiracy behind KVP’s comments on YSR. “Since he’s likely to be arrested by the CBI at any time for his involvement in all the misdeeds of YSR and Jagan Reddy, he has racked up this issue as a distraction,” Goud said.
Surprisingly, when KVP spoke highly of YSR, Revenue Minister N Raghu Veera Reddy, who in fact had disowned YSR and has come to be known as right hand man of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, silently wept, He was seen brushing aside his tears when KVP sought to know why Gandhi Bhavan does not have YSR’s picture.