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Andhra stands by PM in face-off with China, says Jagan Mohan Reddy

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday extended full support to the Narendra Modi government in dealing with the situation arising out of the faceoff with China in Ladakh.

At the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, via video conference, he said that Andhra Pradesh stands by the Centre for whatever strategy it adopts to tackle the situation on the border.

The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) President said he had complete faith and trust in Modi’s leadership and exuded confidence that he would navigate the nation successfully even through the Galwan crisis and India will emerge stronger and resilient.

“I stand by you not only as President of YSR Congress Party but also as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. I would like to convey the wholehearted support of 6 crore people of my state,” he said.

Lavishing praise on Modi, Jagan Mohan Reddy said India became an economic and diplomatic power house with the Prime Minister extensively visiting nations across the globe and building strategic partnerships which propelled India to the forefront.

“This established India as a global power to reckon with and a lighthouse for other nations. We have gained prominence in the global sphere and it is quite evident from the Prime Minister’s most successful foreign policy initiatives which secured India membership in the top 3 international controlled regimes for missiles, arms and bio-weapons.”

The Chief Minister said Modi demonstrated his visionary leadership at the UN Security Council by securing unprecedented support of 184 out of 192 member nations.

The YSRCP chief said the progress also attracted the envy of some nations that are trying to destabilise India. “We have emerged victorious time and again and this time I am sure you will find a solution to this predicament using your wisdom and international diplomatic relations.”

Jagan Mohan Reddy began his speech by expressing deepest anguish over the death of 20 brave soldiers who displayed exemplary courage while protecting sovereignty of the country at Galwan Valley. He said he, on behalf of the state, saluted their supreme sacrifice.

“My heart goes out to the families of brave soldiers. I urge leaders participating in the meeting to stand shoulder to shoulder with our extended bereaved families,” he said.

He said that in today’s nuclear era the world is changing, wars are not fought with military might alone but by international clout, diplomacy, trade restrictions, sanctions and international pressure.

“Let us not forget the fact that no weapons were used and also not forget that there were few unconfirmed casualties on the other side as well,” he added.

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GO issued for disbursal of Rs 30 crore as compensation to gas leak victims

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As announced by Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday, the state government on Friday issued a GO disbursing Rs 30 crore as compensation to the gas leak victims.

As per the GO, the Andhra Pradesh government directed the officials concerned to ensure immediate disbursal of Rs 1 crore compensation to the kin of the deceased, Rs 10 lakh for those on ventilator support after exposure, Rs 1 lakh for those who will stay in hospital for a day or two, and Rs 25,000 for those treated as out-patients after developing health complications. Around 15,000 people were affected by the gas leak. Each family will get Rs 10,000 to cope with the trauma.

The death toll due to the toxic gas leak rose to 12 on Friday when one more gas leak victim succumbed after inhaling toxic fumes from LG Polymers Company. Hundreds of gas leak victims were still undergoing treatment at various hospitals, some of them are critical. Nearly 24 hours after a major gas leak in South Korean LG Polymers Company, news of thick fumes billowing out of the gas tanks in the factory for the second time on Friday midnight had people scurry for their lives.

Terrified people came out of their houses with their faces covered. As rumors spread over the burst of gas tank and second wave of gas leak from the LG Polymers, thousands of residents from Pendurthi, Adivivaram, Pinigadu, Simhachalam, Bhaji Bazaar, Gopalapatnam, Sujath Nagar, NID, Prahaladapuram and Vepagunta ran out of their homes in panic. Some drove out their houses, many of the residents walked miles to escape the second wave of gas leak.

A high-powered committee comprising senior IAS officers, including chief principal secretary Neerab Kumar Prasaad, Pollution Control Board member Vivek Yadav, district Collector of Visakhapatnam Vinay Chand, City Police Commissioner Rajiv Kumar Meena was tasked to conduct a thorough probe into the gas leak and submit a report within a month.

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Andhra CM to seek seer’s blessings in Vizag

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy will visit Visakhapatnam on Tuesday to seek the blessings of Hindu seer Swamy Swaroopanandendra Saraswati.

Jagan Reddy is also likely to request the Sharada Peetham pontiff to fix an auspicious time for the expansion of his Cabinet next week.

The Chief Minister will reach Visakhapatnam by a special aircraft from Vijayawada on Tuesday morning and will drive straight to Sharada Peetham to meet the seer.

According to sources in Chief Minister’s Office, he will spend an hour at the ashram before returning to Amaravati.

This will be Jagan Reddy’s first meeting with the seer after the results were declared. The spiritual guru reportedly congratulated him over the phone and is also understood to have set the mahuratam for his swearing-in as the chief minister.

Jagan, as the young leader is popularly known, took oath at 12.23 p.m. on May 30 at a public ceremony in Vijayawada.

The YSRCP chief had been following Swamy Swaroopanandendra for the last couple of years. Interestingly, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao also follows the seer and visited his ashram for blessings after winning Assembly election in December last year.

Though followers of Jagan say he is a devout Christian, the YSRCP President is known to frequent Hindu temples and seers.

In 2016, he went to Rishikesh to perform a ‘homam’ in the presence of Swamy Swaroopanandendra for special category status to Andhra Pradesh.

He also took the blessings of Chinna Jeeyar Swamy before embarking on his 3,600-km long state-wide ‘padayatra’ in 2017.

YSRCP leaders say Jagan is a firm believer in secularism and respects all faiths. A day before taking oath as the Chief Minister, he visited Tirumala temple at Tirupati and a dargah and a church in his native Kadapa district.

At the swearing-in ceremony, he took the blessings of Christian, Muslim and Hindu priests.

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Video: YS Jagan extraordinary speech After Taking Oath

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Video: Arragements in Indira Gandhi Stadium For Jagan Swearing Ceremony

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Video: YS Jagan Visits Tirumala Temple

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Amaravati lands a major scam, says Jagan

Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister designate Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Sunday alleged that there was a big land scam in new state capital Amaravati as his predecessor N. Chandrababu Naidu had resorted to “insider trading”.

Addressing a news conference in the national capital, he said Naidu and his “benamis” (proxies) purchased vast tracts of lands at throwaway prices in Amaravati by misleading people that the state capital will come up at other places.

Terming it as a sensational scam, Reddy said the lands of Naidu and his “benamis” were also exempted from land pooling under which lands of farmers and others were acquired.

“Even under the land pooling, he paid compensation to whoever he wanted and at whatever rate he wanted,” said Reddy, who was in Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Reddy’s YSR Congress Party stormed to power in the state with a landslide victory on Thursday, winning 151 seats in the 175-member Assembly.

Jagan, as the YSRCP leader is popularly known, is set to take oath as the chief minister on May 30.

He said he would look into the scams that happened during Telugu Desam Party (TDP) rule. “I have nothing against Mr Chandrababu Naidu but as the chief minister I am the custodian of the state.”

He also announced that wherever scams had taken place, he would cancel those works and go for “reserve tenders” to award the works to the lowest bidder after ensuring participation of more number of bidders in the tender process.

“We will tell people where the scams were happening and how much public money we are able to save.”

About the Polavaram project in which TDP government faced allegations of corruption, Jagan said he would cancel the works wherever irregularities were committed. He said completing the project in a time-bound manner with the Centre’s support would be his priority.

On his poll promise of prohibition, Jagan said this would be implemented in a phase-wise manner. Stating that his poll manifesto is like a holy scripture for him, the YSRCP leader said he would seek votes in 2024 only after limiting the sale of liquor to five-star hotels.

He said after the swearing-in, he would hold department-wise reviews and release white papers so that people know the factual position of every department.

He vowed to provide corruption-free governance.

“I promise that our government will be revolutionary. In six months to one year, we will stand as exemplary to the whole country,” he said.

Asked about illegal assets cases against him, Jagan said the massive mandate proved they were politically motivated. He pointed out that the petitioners in these cases were Naidu, his TDP men and Congress leaders.

“These cases were filed only after my father’s death and after I left the Congress,” said Jagan, who spent 16 months in jail.

The YSRCP leader said when his father Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy was Chief Minister, he never stepped into the state secretariat.

“I never phoned a minister or a secretary and I was not even in Hyderabad. I used to come to Hyderabad once in a month to see my parents.”

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CM-designate Jagan invites Modi for swearing-in ceremony

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YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) leader and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister-designate Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Sunday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and invited him for his swearing-in ceremony to be held in Vijayawada on May 30.

Reddy also apprised Modi of the current situation in Andhra Pradesh and discussed the issues of special category status to the state.

Modi said he had “an excellent meeting” with Reddy.

“We had a fruitful interaction on several issues pertaining to Andhra Pradesh’s development. Assured him all possible support from the Centre during his term,” Modi tweeted.

Reddy presented the Prime Minister a bouquet and a shawl, and congratulated him on winning a second term in office. Other YSRCP leaders too were present during the meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence in 7, Lok Kalyan Marg here.

Reddy also met Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah. The YSRCP leader is likely to meet senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh in the evening on Sunday.

Reddy, whose YSR Congress Party registered a landslide victory in the Assembly elections by winning 151 out of 175 seats, ousted the N. Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government in Andhra Pradesh.

With 22 parliamentary seats under its belt, YSRCP is the fourth largest party in the Lok Sabha.

Earlier, YSRCP had made it clear that it would support any party or alliance provided Andhra Pradesh got special status.

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PM congratulates Jagan, Naveen Patnaik

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday congratulated YSR Congress Party leader Jaganmohan Reddy and Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik for the victory of their respective parties in the Assembly elections.

“Dear @ysjagan, Congratulations on the remarkable win in Andhra Pradesh. Best wishes to you for a successful tenure,” Modi tweeted as Jagan’s YSR Congress Party was set to wrest power in the state by getting the majority in the 175-member Assembly. The TDP, which ruled Andhra Pradesh for the last five years, was trailing.

In his message to Patnaik, the Prime Minister tweeted, “Congratulations to Naveen Babu for yet another victory in Odisha. Wishing him the very best for the next term.”

As per the latest results, the BJD was leading in 115 of the 146 Assembly seats in Odisha.

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Jagan’s meteoric rise in Andhra politics

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Yeduguri Sandinti Jagan Mohan Reddy, the man of the moment in Andhra Pradesh, has had a meteoric rise in politics.

He has now reached his goal, nearly a decade after he aspired for the top post in the state following death of his father and then Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, in a helicopter crash.

With his YSR Congress Party on course for a landslide victory in the 2019 Assembly elections, Jagan Mohan Reddy has repeated what his father had achieved in 2004 — logging Telugu Desam Party’s N. Chandrababu Naidu out of power.

What the young leader could not achieve in the Congress, he has done it by floating a new party and slogging for eight years, banking on the legacy of YSR, as his late father was popularly known.

Jagan, as the businessman-politician is popularly known, made the YSRCP replace Congress as the second major political force in the truncated state of Andhra Pradesh in 2014 and in 2019, led it to power.

As he gears up to take over as the second Chief Minister of the new state of Andhra Pradesh, the focus is on the 46-year-old who proved his political acumen by defeating much experienced 69-year-old Chandrababu Naidu.

When YSR led the Congress to power in undivided Andhra Pradesh in 2004, Jagan was running his businesses, mostly from Bengaluru. YSR was in a hurry to groom his son as his political successor. He tried to make his brother Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy resign from Kadapa Lok Sabha seat in 2005 to pave way for Jagan’s election. While Vivekananda agreed, then Congress President Sonia Gandhi scuttled the move and asked YSR to wait till 2009.

Making an impressive electoral debut, Jagan was elected to Lok Sabha from Kadapa in 2009 elections, when his father retained power in the state. Barely six months later the death of YSR in a chopper crash plunged the state into political chaos.

Even before Jagan’s burial, YSR loyalists started “Jagan as CM” campaign, much to the dislike of Congress leadership, which choose veteran leader K. Rosaiah as YSR’s successor.

Seen as rebellious and a man in a hurry to take over the mantle, Jagan defied the party leadership to embark on “odarpu yatra” to console the family members of those who died of shock or committed suicide following YSR’s death.

As Jagan’s rebellion continued to pose a challenge, the Congress leadership replaced Rosaiah with Kiran Kumar Reddy to deal firmly with dissidence. When Vivekananda Reddy was inducted into state cabinet, Jagan accused the Congress of dividing his family and quit the party along with his mother Y.S. Vijayamma, who was earlier elected unopposed from Pulivendula Assembly seat, which fell vacant following YSR’s death.

Jagan, with a handful of loyalists, floated the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) in March. By winning by-elections from Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula with huge margins, the son-mother duo proved their popularity in the faction-ridden Rayalaseema region.

However, the alleged dramatic increase in Jagan’s wealth when his father was the Chief Minister had already triggered demands from his rivals in Congress and also the TDP for a thorough probe. Following a Central Bureau of Investigation probe ordered by Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2011, a series of cases were registered against him and his aides.

In what is called the ‘quid-pro-quo’ cases, Jagan was accused of getting investments into his businesses by firms and individuals in return for the shown undue favours shown to them by the government headed by his father in the form of approvals, leases, contracts and government land.

However, the YSRCP leader denied all the charges as “witch-hunting”.

Jagan’s rivals also targeted his media ventures, alleging that the ill-gotten wealth of YSR had gone into a Telugu newspaper and a channel owned by him.

The CBI arrested Jagan and sent him to jail on May 27, 2012. After 16 months in jail, he was granted bail.

In the affidavit filed along with his nomination from Pulivendula last month, Jagan mentioned 31 criminal cases pending against him including cases booked by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate under Prevention of Corruption and Act Money Laundering Act among others. He, however, was not convicted in any case.

After the release from jail in 2013, Jagan started building the party and undertook ‘padyatras’ or foot marches like his late father to know people’s problems.

With striking similarities to YSR, Jagan became known for making an instant emotional chord with the masses, mingling with them, shaking hands and cupping everyone’s chin in a commiserative gesture.

Though deprived of a win in 2014 mainly due to the TDP’s alliance with the BJP, Jagan continued his struggle. Unfazed by the defection of nearly two dozen MLAs to the TDP, he focused on strengthening the party.

He set a new record through 14-month-long ‘padayatra’, which ended in January this year. Covering a distance of 3,640 km on foot, he promised to usher in ‘Rajanna Rajyam’, a reference to his father’s rule during which welfare schemes were implemented for various sections of the society.

Unlike typical Indian politicians, Jagan is usually clad in a formal striped shirt and trousers. Fit and smartly dressed, he enjoys a huge following among youth.

Jagan, who had his schooling at Hyderabad Public School, holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree. His wife Y.S. Bharathi is a businesswoman while his daughter Y.S. Harshini Reddy and Y.S. Varsha Reddy are pursuing higher education.

In his election affidavit, Jagan declared family assets of over Rs 500 crore.

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KCR congratulates Modi on NDA victory

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Thursday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the landslide electoral victory of the National Democratic Alliance in the Lok Sabha election under the leadership of the BJP.

Rao, who is the chief of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), hoped that under the leadership of Modi the country will progress further and march ahead.

KCR, as Rao is popularly known, also expressed his happiness on the YSR Congress Party’s “great” victory in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly election.

According to a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office, he telephoned YSRCP chief Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and congratulated him. KCR expressed the hope that Andhra Pradesh would progress under the leadership of Reddy and the relationship between the two states would improve further.

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YSRCP legislators to meet on Saturday

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The newly elected legislators of the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in Andhra Pradesh will meet on Saturday to formally elect party President Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy as their leader, party leaders said.

The YSRCP appeared set to storm to power in the state with a landslide victory as the trends show it was leading in 150 seats in the 175-member Assembly.

YSRCP leader Y.V. Subba Reddy said the date of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s swearing in as the Chief Minister will be decided after a meeting of the YSRCP Legislature Party on Friday.

YSRCP was also heading for a clean sweep in the Lok Sabha polls. It was leading in all 25 seats in the state.

In 2014, YSRCP had bagged 67 Assembly and 8 Lok Sabha seats.

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Jagan swearing-in on May 30

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YCP President YS Jaganmohan Reddy will take oath as the Chief Minister of AP on May 30. He will be sworn in at the function to be held at Taraka Rama Stadium in Tirupati. He takes oath after taking blessings at Tirumala Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple.

TRS Working President KT Rama Rao has extended his best wishes to victorious Jaganmohan Reddy. The TDP is losing all the seats in Kadapa, Nellore and Vizianagaram districts. Pawan Kalyan is losing in Gajuwaka. Jana Sena is losing all assembly and Lok Sabha seats.

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After gruelling power battle, Naidu, Jagan chilling out

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With nearly a month to go for the election results, top politicians in Andhra Pradesh are headed to different tourism destinations for a much-needed break after weeks of grueling campaigning under the sun and in the dust.

Both Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and his main rival Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy have finally got a breather from the hectic campaigning across the length and breadth of the state.

The main contenders of power in Andhra Pradesh, which went to simultaneous polls for the Assembly and the Lok Sabha on April 11, have taken some time off to relax in the cool environs of their respective destinations along with their families.

Naidu, who is the President of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), was leaving for Himachal Pradesh on Friday for a summer vacation along with his family members, while YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) President Jagan Mohan Reddy was holidaying in Switzerland for the last two days along with his wife Bharati and two daughters.

Though it has been two weeks since the polling got over in the state, both the leaders kept themselves busy, albeit for different reasons.

After receiving feedback from the party leaders and candidates in a series of review meetings, they drew their own calculations about the possible outcome and exuded confidence of winning the elections.

Elections to the 175-member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats were held in a single phase on April 11. The counting of votes will be done on May 23 after the completion of all the seven phases of Lok Sabha polls across the country.

Immediately after the polling, Naidu had become busy in taking on the Election Commission of India over what he called its failure to conduct the polling in a smooth and efficient manner.

He dashed off to Delhi and lodged his protest with the poll panel over the malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and held meeting with non-BJP parties to reiterate the demand for the counting of 50 percent VVPAT slips and taking steps to make the EVMs tamper-proof.

Naidu, who turned 69 on April 20, also visited Karnataka a couple of times where he campaigned for the Janata Dal (S)-Congress combine.

The TDP chief also went to Chennai where he met the DMK leadership and appealed to the voters in Tamil Nadu to defeat the AIADMK-BJP alliance.

He then visited Mumbai to show support for the NCP-Congress alliance where he also held discussions over the issue of faulty EVMs.

After the elections, Jagan spent plenty of time relaxing at his residence in Hyderabad. He also celebrated Easter with his family before leaving for a foreign trip after the court hearing cases related to disproportionate assets granted him permission for the same.

For Jagan, this was a much-needed break as he had been busy with the state-wide ‘padayatra’ (foot march) for more than a year.

Jagan’s 14-month-long ‘padayatra’ concluded in January after which he got busy with election preparations. The YSRCP chief covered a distance of 3,648 km on foot in what many are claiming to be the longest foot march by any political leader.

According to the YSRCP leaders, the ‘padayatra’ and the subsequent election campaign took a toll on the 46-year-old leader. Jagan also suffered sunburn during his visits to the remote villages.

Other leaders of the two rival parties were also headed to different tourist destinations, both within the country and abroad.

Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh, who made his poll debut in the Assembly elections, is said to be holidaying abroad along with his family members.

State Ministers, outgoing MPs, MLAs, and leaders, who were in charge of the campaigns for their respective political outfits, have also left for various destinations for a much-needed break.

They are set to return before the counting of votes with renewed energy, hoping to make it to the corridors of power.

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Jagan can turn out to be kingmaker-in-waiting

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Speculation over a post poll scenario brings forth heavy hitters from the regions, sometimes derisively called political weathercocks. So expect their actions and statements to be dissected for hidden meaning. They had been relegated to the fringes after 2014 but appear to be fancying their chances once again in 2019.

Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy of YSR Congress Party, who is nipping away at the heels of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, is a key player in state politics.

However, he could be positioning himself for a possible role at the national level — going by his recent remarks, where he said he had forgiven the Congress but also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The YSR Congress Party did not fare well in 2014 in terms of seats won in the Assembly and the Lok Sabha but was right up there with Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in terms of vote percentage.

This is what provided the launch pad for his key position in Andhra Pradesh politics. The YSR Congress Party won eight Lok Sabha seats to the Telugu Desam’s 15 but was ahead on voting percentage — 45.38 per cent to the TDP’s 40.53 per cent. In the Assembly elections, it was just about at the same level, cornering 44.4 per cent of the vote to the TDP’s 44.6 per cent.

This is where Jagan’s strength comes from. If this vote base translates into seats, Reddy could be a big player if the Lok Sabha polls do not throw up a clear winner at the Centre.

His rise is inversely proportional to Naidu’s political fortunes. A combination of the prominent Kapu vote, Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan’s rise — he is a Kapu — and the party’s alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party could make things difficult for Naidu.

In 2014, the BJP and Pawan Kalyan had helped Naidu win by the skin of his teeth. The records will show that the TDP won 102 of 175 Assembly seats with YSR Congress Party winning 66, but as shown earlier, the two parties were at the same level in terms of vote percentage.

Now, Naidu is without the BJP and Pawan Kalyan’s support. That would be advantage Jagan Mohan Reddy, who launched a blistering campaign against the TDP government’s record in governance and corruption in the run-up to polling for the Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh on April 11.

If indeed Jagan has a role to play in a post poll scenario, who would he stand with? The answer to that is not a foregone conclusion. The YSR Congress Party has a strong base among Muslims, and he is Christian. But, that might not place him automatically in the anti-BJP camp.

Jagan has a number of criminal and other cases against him — according to his affidavit, he faces 31 criminal cases, seven cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and 11 cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act pending against him. If Modi were to ride back to power, the YSR leader might be reminded of these pending cases against him.

On the public forum Jagan has tried to provide clarity, saying he will back the party that provides special category status to Andhra Pradesh — a promise made by the UPA-II government when Andhra Pradesh was divided to create Telangana. That might not entirely hold when all the chips are laid on the table.

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