New Delhi: YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Tuesday sent a warning to the Congress and claimed the support of 24 party MLAs from Andhra Pradesh.
Jagan, who resigned from the Congress recently, displayed his political strength in the capital. The former Congress MP from Kadapa arrived in New Delhi on Monday night by a special train along with his supporters.
Jagan used a day-long fast against the Krishna Tribunal judgment to send the message to the Congress high command.
Jagan has been joined by 24 MLAs and MLCs from Andhra along with two party MPs, Sabbam Hari and Rajamohan Reddy, in his hunger strike. The presence of Congress MLAs and MPs is a signal to the party leadership that Jagan could be planning to split the Andhra unit.
“I am doing a favour to the Congress by not toppling the government. If my MLAs resign, the government will fall. ButI I am a gentleman and I am not doing it,” said Jagan.
If 24 Congress MLAs join Jagan then the state government of Kiran Kumar Reddy will be in a minority. But Jagan reiterated that he is not interested in toppling the state government.
The strength of Andhra assembly is 294 with the halfway mark being 148. As of now the Congress has 155 MLAs. Praja Rajyam Party has 18 MLAs and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has seven.
The Opposition is led by Telugu Desam Party which has 91 members in the Assembly while Telangana Rashtra Samithi has 11 MLAs. The Bharatiya Janata Party has two, CPI four, CPI(M) one, CPML one and three MLAs are Independents.
However, Congress MP and spokesperson Manish Tewari claimed that there was no threat to Andhra government.
“Jaganmohan is not a part of Congress. The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh is not under any threat,” said Tewari.
Jagan made it clear that all MLAs and MPs supporting him will leave Congress and contest from his party in the next elections.
“All MLAs will leave Congress and fight on my party ticket in 2014,” he said.
“Jagan is the only leader, who can protect Andhra, not the Congress. He is our leader,” said Konda Surekha, Congress MLA.
The Congress high command in Delhi is trying put up a brave face by saying that Jagan is not a threat.
Even though Jagan is reassuring the Congress that he will not bring the government down before 2014 polls, nobody is ready to believe that.
His supporters feel that Jagan’s symbolic fast in the name of farmers is the beginning of the end of Congress domination in Andhra Pradesh and ironically its most powerful leader the late Dr YSR Reddy’s only son is leading this revolt.
Jagan had left the Congress in November 29, 2010 after criticising the top leadership including Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi. He has also filed an application with the Election Commission for registering a new political party.
Jagan apparently wanted to become the chief minister after his father YSR’s death in a helicopter crash in 2009. The rift emerged after the Congress declined his wish to succeed his father as the chief minister of the state.