The proposed tie up between congress and Prajarajyam party sent shock waves in the state politics. However, the PRP seems to have retreated as a result of the internal bickering within the congress that embarrassed the PRP. Whether there will be a tie up between these two parties or not, the very proposal needs a closer scrutiny to understand the changing contours of Andhra Pradesh politics. Obviously, the congress decision to stretch a hand of friendship to PRP raised many an eye brow within the political circles. Predictably, the loyalists of Jagan raised a banner of revolt. For the first time after the tragic demise of YS Rajashekhar Reddy , the supporters of Jagan scored more points over their detractors. By the time I complete writing this article, the Congress PRP tie up seems to be a non starter.
To begin with, Congress has several advantages in this Greater Hyderabad municipal elections. The party has a sizable number of MLAs and MPs who will be voters in the GHMC. This is crucial for the congress to win the Mayoral post. The congress has an unwritten understanding with the MIM. This will help the party to not only get the minority votes but will add up to the congress kitty in the post poll scenario. In the2009 elections, the congress has virtually swept the polls in the city. The political situation has not changed in the city or the state for the congress to be in jittery. The only difference is of course the absence of a powerful leader like YSR. The anti-congress opposition vote is much more fragmented in Hyderabad. When the congress could reap electoral dividend in the Assembly polls due to split in the anti-congress vote, it is much more a reality in the GHMC elections. Apart from The TDP, the BJP has a stronger presence in the city. It has a traditional support base and sufficient number of cadres to garner votes. The Loksatta has also proved its Satta in the GHMC area. The Loksatta is especially strong among the middle class and educated voters who constitute a considerable voting in the GHMC polls. The fragmentation of the opposition vote provides an added advantage to the congress. Despite all these positive aspects, what makes the Congress to look towards PRP? Precisely for this reason, the Jagan camp saw this as a strategic move to reduce the importance of Jagan within the party. .
The PCC president went on record stating that the initiative to tie up with PRP has actually come from high command. This clarification by D.Srinivas fail to assuage the feelings of Jagan loyalists. No one can rule out the long term political and strategic move behind the congress high command’s decision to have some sort of understanding with PRP.
First, the high command fears a possibility of some more MLAs revolting. The fears of high command got strengthened in the wake of Konda Surekha’s resignation .The 18MLAs of PRP would be saviour for the congress in any emergency situation. Infact, the loyalists of Jagan were first to seek the support of Chiranjeevi in the wake of YSR demise. The rival camps in the congress are eager to look towards PRP MLAs to add up to their numbers. There are even arguments in the congress circles that Chiranjeevi would of great help for the party in the absence of a crowd puller after the death of YSR. All said and done Jagan seems to be only one leader in the state congress who has a potential to rally people for a meeting. His detractors may call it a deliberate mobilization. It is true to an extent. But, even this ability is also crucial in political management. Infact Jagan lobby is worried over the whispers in the congress over Chiranjeevi substituting for the mass image of YSR . This may be a far fetched idea at this moment. But, the loyalists of Jagan can not take this lightly even if it is in wildest dreams too.
One thing is sure . Tie-up with PRP would have added glamour to congress campaign which would otherwise be a lack luster one.
There are social dynamics too . The Kapu community which solidly rallied behind Chiranjeevi was earlier support base of Congress. The congress want to rally this community back to its fold.
The PRP has its own reasons to be ecstatic to the proposal from the congress. The party got over 10 percent of votes in GHMC area. In some constituencies like Malkajgiri, Uppal, LB Nagar, Secunderabad, Kukatpally, Sherlingampally etc., the PRP got a impressive voting .These votes are not sufficient to win seats . Any understanding with congress would ensure some seats for PRP in the GHMC. This is key for the survival of the party which is already mired under political disappointment. The party is finding it difficult to keep its leaders and cadres in its fold. Even the voting is also declining which is evident in the Tekkali by polls.
The PRP did a costly mistake by responding to the congress gestures so fast and so swiftly without visualizing the political fallout. It lost the political moral high ground to fight the congress. With this victory, the Jagan lobby will be getting ready for yet an another battle.
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