Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
YSRCP has emerged as a major political force over the past eight years and celebrated its foundation day on March 12. For a party to grow from strength to strength even while it is out of power, is certainly no mean achievement. This is particularly so when there is a powerful political opponent in the form of the ruling party. To be amidst the people constantly, to learn about their problems on a first-hand basis and to earn state-wide respect and recognition, is a singular achievement. It is equally significant that YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has sent shivers down the spine of the leadership of the ruling TDP in Andhra Pradesh.
The party has now entered a very critical phase. Some analysts tend to say that the YSRCP chief had committed certain errors during the previous elections. He has, however, clarified repeatedly that he believes in value-based politics. Therefore, he does not wish to give assurances which cannot be met and make promises which cannot be kept. It is not proper to do so and deceive people, he firmly believes. Back then, even when certain tall leaders approached the YSRCP, he stuck to his word and did not admit them. In sharp contrast, Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam party threw all principles and values to the wind, using money and all other means to attract whoever he felt could be useful to the TDP. Added to this, Chandrababu made hundreds of promises which could not be met. He knew even while making these commitments that they could not be kept, but with his experience he gave a slew of assurances and made a host of promises which he could not keep.
Chandrababu with his false promises could deceive the people at that time. He made every effort to appease the BJP and Jana Sena. On the other hand, YS Jagan fought alone and remained the sole champion and crusader of the special category status. He did not make any false promises. He did not give any commitment which he could not keep.
Had YS Jagan done so, victory would have been his, regardless of the fact that he would not have been able to keep the promises that he would have made, in the way that Chandrababu brazenly did. However, adhering to his value-based politics and treading his own path, YS Jagan has now clearly come close to victory. It is not an easy task, no mean achievement to win 67 assembly seats. He has now set out on his long Padayatra for about four months, and what is raising eyebrows is the fact that thousands of people are walking alongside him voluntarily and spiritedly. Such unprecedented response in both undivided and residuary Andhra Pradesh is truly sensational. To say that no other mass leader had ever attracted such crowds, is no exaggeration. If such a wave sweeps across Andhra Pradesh in favour of YS Jagan, nothing can stop him from winning the elections, the next time around. It is very evident that people are vexed with the Chandrababu Naidu government.
This is clearly the reason why a rattled Chandrababu has been compelled to change his stance on the special category status to Andhra Pradesh. Chandrababu realises that from day one YS Jagan has been consistent in his insistence on Special Category Status to AP and has already carved a niche for himself in the hearts and minds of the people of the state on this emotive issue. Hence, Chandrababu was forced to change his stand. It is obvious however, that Chandrababu Naidu is scared to snap his party’s ties with the BJP and come out of the alliance at the Centre. The interesting and amusing thing about Chandrababu Naidu is his propaganda, even while he himself continues to sail with the BJP, that YS Jagan is contemplating an alliance with the ruling party at the Centre!
The difference between Chandrababu Naidu’s brand of politics, as opposed to YS Jagan’s could not be more stark. Naidu did not bat an eyelid while spending crores of rupees to buy over MLAs who had won on YSRCP tickets. On the other hand, YS Jagan insisted that Nandyala TDP MLC, Chakrapani Reddy, resign from his post in order to join the YSRCP. By doing so, YS Jagan rose in stature in the eyes of the masses and the intelligentsia alike.
It is being rumoured that Chandrababu is gearing up to spend bigger amounts this time around. Analysts say that YS Jagan must create greater awareness amongst the people on this issue. In truth, Chandrababu Naidu in comparison, is a far more experienced politician, but when it comes to unethical politics and politics of deception and false promises, Chandrababu Naidu is matchless.
The difference between YS Jagan and Chandrababu Naidu is that while Naidu has always been trying to avoid getting implicated in cases, YS Jagan, knowing that the Congress would react vindictively to his exit from the party, faced them boldly. He chose to tread the path of integrity and credibility like his father, the late Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy. Chandrababu Naidu went to the extent of striking a deal and surrendering before the Congress to avoid getting implicated in cases. When it comes to false propaganda, Chandrababu has no peer. It is imperative that YS Jagan draws up a strategy to counter Chandrababu’s false propaganda effectively. The YSRCP believes that this time around YS Jagan’s labour would pay off and be fruitful. The masses also feel that YS Jagan deserves to be given a chance to become the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.