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Bharat Bandh: Why did KCR, Jagan reverse their stand?

Bharat Bandh: Why did KCR, Jagan reverse their stand?

All these days, there has been an impression that YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is maintaining friendly relationship with the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and is generally supporting the decisions taken by the Centre.

The YSRC leaders, particularly Jagan, never made any harsh comments against the Modi government or the Bharatiya Janata Party, though the party leaders might have made statements countering the state BJP leaders’ criticism. 

In fact, Jagan even obliged the BJP leadership’s request to give Rajya Sabha seat to Parimal Natwani, a top official of the Reliance Industries. Whenever he went to Delhi, he got favourable response from the Centre.

On the other hand, Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has been adopting a confrontationist stand with the BJP and also the Centre.

Though KCR has not been making any strong comments against Modi and his government, his son K T Rama Rao and other TRS leaders have been attacking the BJP and the Central government.

There is a reason for their stand. The BJP is no strong political force in Andhra Pradesh and Jagan sees no threat from the saffron party there. Moreover, he requires the support of the Centre in running the administration in AP.

In Telangana, the situation is different. For KCR, the BJP is a big political threat as it is fast emerging as a strong political alternative to the TRS. So, he has to put up a strong fight against the BJP both in the state and the Centre.

So, when the YSRC and TRS have taken a contrasting stand on enforcing Bharat Bandh on Monday, it naturally evoked a surprise in the political circles. 

The YSRC, which is considered to be closer to the Modi government at the Centre, extended support to the Bharat Bandh, in solidarity with the concerns of farmers and also in support of the workers of Visakhapatnam steel plant, who have been opposing privatisation attempts by the central government.

The Jagan government announced holiday for all the educational institutions in support of the bandh and also stopped APSRTC buses across the state from Sunday night to Monday evening.

On the other hand, the TRS government in Telangana has not made any statement in support of the bandh or opposing the same.

KCR remained silent and has stayed put in Delhi and his government announced that schools and offices will remain open and buses will run as usual, despite the bandh call given by the opposition, barring the BJP.

According to analysts, the reversal of stand by Jagan and KCR is definitely a part of their political strategies. Jagan wants to create an impression among the people that when it comes to issues concerning the farmers and workers, he would stand by them and he would go to any extent to fight with the Centre to protect their interests.

“At the same time, he would not make any open criticism against the Modi government or the BJP. The YSRC cadres are not taking part in the bandh by hitting the streets, like other opposition parties. He only wants to extend his solidarity with the cause and get the political mileage,” the analyst said.

In Telangana, KCR has a different strategy. By not extending support to the Bharat Bandh directly, he wants to convey a message to the Centre that his party is not exactly against the Modi government. At the same time, it would confuse the BJP cadre fighting against his government.

He knows that the bandh would not have much impact on the electorate in Telangana, as the Congress and the Left parties are no big threat to the TRS. That is why, he is unleashing the police on these two parties to prevent them from making the bandh a success.

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