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what is Chandrababu Naidu up to: A view from Lotus Pond


While Opposition leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is busy fire-fighting to save the party from being poached by chief minister Chandrababu Naidu,  sources to close to Lotus Pond admit that the party is in danger of losing many MLAs.

They admit that the Lotus Pond (the central office of YSRC is known by the place where it is located) is rocked by the high magnitude tremor created party’s influential MLA Bhuma Nagireddy’s alleged decision to join the ruling TDP.

Lure of cabinet berths and financial packages, they believe, will certainly work in the case of many MLAs from  the YSR Congress. For two reasons chief minister Naidu is implementing his mission to admit the YSRC MLAs in the Telugu Desam party, according to Lotus Pond sources.

  1. Naidu doesn’t want  Reddys become permanent vote bank of YSR Congress.  Reddys can flourish  in TDP as well.
  1. Naidu wants to ensure that YSRCP can’t win the Rajya Sabha ticket, which now it can easily win with its strength.

According to YSRCP leaders who is close to Lotus Pond , Naidu is planning to  appoint  some prominent  Reddys as cabinet ministers.  Now there are only two Reddys in the cabinet- Palle Raghunatha Reddy from Anantapur district and Goplakrishna Reddy from  Chittoor .  There is a feeling among the Reddys of Rayalaseema that Naidu is giving short shrift to Reddys  because  of the defeat of TDP in the Reddy belt. They are comparing themselves with Kapus, whose number is six in the cabinet.

Now, at least two more Reddys are expected to become ministers . Lotus Pond sources  believe that C Adinarayana Reddy (Jammalamadugu) and Bhuma Nagireddy ( Nandyala)  are offered cabinet berths. In case the grand design of Naidu falls through, Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy (Nellore) and  Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy from Ongole are like choices.

There is talk that a former Rajya Sabha member is also keen to leave the opposition party if cabinet berth is offered. Even  thought Jagan’s Saturday began with fire-fighting by holding a meeting with Bhuma Nagireddy,  these sources said, it is difficult to  stop these two leaders from joining TDP.  Bhuma Nagireddy comes from the Reddy belt of Kurnool district and by appointing him, Naidu can  extend his areas of influence in this area, while the BC belt of Kurnool-Adoni area is taken care of by  deputy chief minister KE Krishnamurthy. Naidu will go to any extent to win back Bhuma.

As for Rajya Sabha ticket,  the Lotus Pond sources suspect a deep conspiracy in promoting mass defection from  YSRC. Soon, elections have to be held for four Rajya Sabha vacancies arising out of the retirement of YS Chowdary, Nirmala Seetaraman, J D Selam and Jairam Ramesh. Given the strength of YSRC, it could comfortably win a seat. If the number falls below 45, chances of Jagan’s nominee going to Rajya Sabha will diminish.  Though it looks far fetched the Lotus Pond  sources harbor apprehension that  Naidu is targeting the Rajya Sabha elections also. To  achieve this, they say, Naidu is offering cabinet berths to prominent Reddys and financial packages to weaker sections.

Another factor that is at work, according to Lotus Pond sources, is that the CM is assuring the renomination for all YSRC MLAs in 2019 elections. Naidu  is confident of  getting the Assembly seats increased  by 2017 through a constitutional amendment.  Then there won’t be any problem for the new comers from local TDP leaders as they could be adjusted in the newly created constituencies.  ” All these attractive factors have the potential to convince many YSRCP MLAs given their weak financial background.

” Jaganmohan Reddy is trying his best to stop the migration. But, it will be difficult to resist the lure of the power and pelf- after all  they are the heart and soul in politics , not the loyalty,” the sources said.

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