Here is why BJP and Jagan Reddy are wooing each other
New Delhi, May 28: The 2019 Lok Sabha election results have shocked many political parties as their bêtes noires have performed very well.
Andhra Pradesh is one of the states where this has happened. The ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led by N. Chandrababu Naidu has been grounded in the state.
It not only lost the Lok Sabha elections but also the Assembly elections. The new star in the state's politics is Yuvajana Sramika Raithu Congress Party (YSRCP) leader Jaganmohan Reddy, a.k.a. Jagan.
The YSRCP has won 22 Lok Sabha seats out of the 25 seats in the state. The remaining seats are bagged by the TDP. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress couldn't win a single seat.
In 2014, the YSRCP had won 08 , TDP 16 and the BJP 02 seats.
Jagan's party bagged 151 seats in the 175-seat Andhra Pradesh Assembly, its best-ever performance so far. The TDP registered its worst-ever performance and managed to win only 23 seats and one was won by Jana Sena Alliance. Again the BJP and the Congress couldn't win a single Assembly seat.
In the outgoing Andhra Pradesh Assembly, the TDP had 103 and YSRCP 67 MLAs.
To understand why Jagan and the BJP are a perfect match, one needs to revisit history.
Jagan is the son of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy (popularly known as YSR). The Congress' chief minister was so popular that over 100 people in Andhra Pradesh committed suicide after he died in a helicopter crash on September 2, 2009.
Jagan, who was a Congress MP from Kadapa, was the first choice of the Congress MLAs and Cabinet Ministers for the post of Chief Minister. However, then Congress President Sonia Gandhi didn't allow it and made an old loyalist with no mass base K Rosaiah as the new chief minister of the state.
Jagan was disappointed but six months after his father's death, he began an odarpu yatra (condolence tour) as promised earlier to go and meet the families of those alleged to have either committed suicide or suffered ill health on the news of his father's death.
Sonia Gandhi was very upset and she summoned Jagan's mother and sister in Delhi in 2010 and told them to pressurise Jagan to stop his condolence tour. When Jagan heard this, he told his family and friends that he would be floating his own party to teach the Gandhi family a lesson.
He resigned from the Congress, floated YSRCP and won the Kadapa Lok Sabha by-poll and swept Assembly by-poll by winning 15 seats in 2011. This had alarmed the Gandhi family.
In 2102, Jagan and several of his close associates were sent to jail in a disproportionate assets case. His family cried foul play and alleged Sonia Gandhi was behind this political vendetta. He spent 18 months in jail and was released on bail in September 2013.
Now, he will be sworn-in as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister on May 30 at IGM Stadium in Vijayawada, which is scheduled for 12.23 pm.
On Sunday, Jagan met Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi and invited him for the swearing-in ceremony. Later, he also met BJP President Amit Shah.
Since Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony is also scheduled to take place on Thursday evening therefore he is unlikely to go.
However, Jagan will attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony after taking oath as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister.
Jagan along with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Chief K Chandrasekhar Rao wanted to play an important role in the formation of a Central government in case of a hung parliament, but that didn't happen.
He has also said on record that he was praying for a hung parliament and had BJP got around 250 seats then he would have supported the BJP only after getting a written assurance of granting special status to Andhra Pradesh.
It's notable that BJP's former partner Chandrababu Naidu had severed relations with the Modi government at its fag end on the issue of special status to Andhra Pradesh.
According to sources, though the BJP didn't get any success in Andhra Pradesh but it is happy that Naidu's TDP too has been dusted.
"YSRCP's success is a boon for the BJP. A powerful Naidu would have been a problem for it. The BJP is aware of Jagan's animosity with the Congress and would like to use his strength in Andhra Pradesh Assembly for its benefit in the Rajya Sabha, where it is in the minority. Jagan also realises the need of the BJP and his own limitations while dealing with a majority government at Centre," says a source.
"BJP President Amit Shah praising Jagan on May 23; Jagan meeting Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi and Shah; and the YSRC chief attending Modi's swearing-in ceremony are indications that both the parties are wooing each other," says a source.
"Jagan has also won Lok Sabha and Assembly elections by making various promises; therefore it is in his interest to maintain friendly relations with the Centre. The new government would like to pass important Bills in the Rajya Sabha and Jagan's party could be helpful. The present political situation is that both need each other and would be scratching each other's back as and when required," adds the source.
Four Rajya Sabha seats from Andhra Pradesh will fall vacant next year.
The term of TDP's Thota Seetharama Lakshmi, Congress' Mohd. Ali Khan; T. Subbarami Reddy, and TRS' K. Keshava Rao is ending on April 9, 2020.
Currently, the YSRCP has two Rajya Sabha MPs: V. Vijaysai Reddy and Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy.