Kadapa: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy took sweet revenge on his erstwhile party by trouncing its candidates in three MLC constituencies, which saw by-elections on March 21. The fledgling YSR Congress Party, which Jagan floated on March 11, opened its account by securing three — Chittoor, Kadapa and West Godavari — of the nine seats at stake.
The Congress, which had eight seats earlier, could secure only three inspite of secret tie ups with TDP to defeat Jagan’s group in Kadapa, while cashing in on the division of Congress votes, main opposition TDP increased its tally from one to three.
Mr Jagan’s candidates won in Kadapa, Chittoor and West Godavari. In Kadapa, Mr C. Narayana Reddy won by 10 votes against the Congress’ ex-former MLA, Mr N. Varadarajulu Reddy. The Kadapa election was seen as a direct fight between Mr Jagan and the Mr Kiran. The Congress lost narrowly when a group of 15 voters belonging to the TD leader, Mr Putta Narasimha Reddy, backed Mr Jagan’s candidate.
In Chittoor, Mr Kiran’s trusted candidate, Mr B. Naresh Kumar Reddy, lost narrowly to Mr Desai Tippa Reddy of the Jagan group. For CM Kiran Kumar Reddy, the result was a setback as the party candidate in his native district lost out to Jagan candidate by just one vote. The Congress also suffered in Anantapur district where top leader JC Diwakar Reddy revolted.
In Anantapur, the victory of the TD’s Mr Mettu Govinda Reddy was attributed to support from the Congress’ Mr J.C. Diwakar Reddy. He trounced Congress MLC, Mr Patil Venugopal Reddy, by 59 votes. The Jagan group did not field any candidate from here.
In W. Godavari, one seat went to TD’s Mr Angara Rammohan Rao, and the other to the Jagan-group backed Independent, Mr M. Seshu Babu. It is for the first time that the Congress candidates have lost in both East and West Godavari districts. The presence of Praja Rajyam’s five MLAs proved to be of no use.
The Jagan camp burst crackers and distributed sweets. The victory has come as a moral booster for Jagan just ahead of the Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula assembly by-poll.
Jagan party spokesperson Ambati Rambabu demanded the CM’s resignation on moral grounds. Congress MP from Nellore, Rajmohan Reddy said, “Despite monetary allurements and threats, people still voted for Jagan. It shows that he is a mass leader.”
The CM said, “We will identify the people who worked against the party and deny them ticket in the local body polls (in July, 2011),” he said.