Politics is the art of the possible. These famous words of Otto von Bismarck are one probable explanation of the absurdity behind Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Botsa Satyanarayana's challenge to YSR Congress president Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy to let the media inspect his palatial houses at Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pulivendula to determine how huge they were.
Another reason could be a temporary amnesia. Botsa has conveniently forgotten that Jagan built the mansions when YS Rajasekhara Reddy was in power. The hearts of Congress men supposedly bleed for the poor, yet they looked the other way while their iconic leader's son was amassing 'ill-gotten' wealth. Then one fine day, they 'realised' their mistake and set out to atone! How noble of them.
Of late, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and the PCC chief have been going hammer and tongs against Jagan. According to political observers, the duo consider him as the main threat to the party's chances of winning the by-elections slated for June 12. Hence Botsa and the CM have not only targeted Jagan's lavish lifestyle, they have also referred to his alleged criminal links.
"We are explaining to voters how Jagan amassed huge wealth through illegal means. We are able to convince the people," Botsa claimed at a press conference on May 14. Though their main charge against Jagan is that he and his companies benefited from the allotments or licenses granted by the YSR-led government, none of the orders in this connection have been cancelled till date.
The greater irony is that neither the late leader nor many of the ministers who were responsible for issuing the questionable government orders figure in the list of accused prepared by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Presumably this is to prevent the opposition from demanding the resignation of those ministers and thus precipitate a crisis that could lead to the end of the present regime.
The followers of Jagan always crib about an 'ungrateful' Congress party discarding him despite gaining the most from his father's people-friendly welfare policies. In sharp contrast, those critical of the Kadapa MP aver that he received his just desserts. After all, Jagan created enough problems for former CM K Rosaiah. He also belittled the authority of the party high command.
Jagan's woes can be traced back to that rebellion. If he had remained in the party and bided his time, the Congress would have backed him even in the face of damning allegations. Jagan decided to start a new party because there was little chance of Sonia Gandhi making him the state's CM in the near future. Besides, he had not exactly endeared himself to her or Rahul Gandhi.
Since Jagan was quite aware of the consequences of his actions and still he went ahead, Congress leaders who are gunning for him argue that he cannot expect a different treatment now. While that is understandable, their stand on the issue of corruption is sheer hypocrisy. Botsa and Kiran Kumar Reddy may be raising a hue and cry about Jagan's millions but they have not spoken a word about the role of YSR in all this.
Declaring the son as guilty and simultaneously absolving the father of any blame whatsoever flies in the face of logic but it seems the Congress leaders have no other option as they are currently seeking votes in the name of YSR's legacy.