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Jagan in NDA: Will he, or won't he?

Jagan in NDA: Will he, or won't he?

It has been just over six months since YSR Congress party led by young and dynamic leader Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy came to power in Andhra Pradesh with thumping majority.

In these first six months, Jagan has focussed on stabilising the system and establishing his own mark on the administration with his brand of welfare schemes.

He and his party leaders have been successfully tackling the opposition onslaught effectively, thanks to the huge public mandate he had got in the elections.

However, Jagan has been maintaining a cordial relationship with the Centre without any confrontation.

Even with regard to his controversial decisions like review of PPAs or Polavaram reverse tendering or stalling of works in Amaravati, Jagan has been trying to convince the Centre, rather than adopting an aggressive posture.

Since the Bharatiya Janata Party has overtly or covertly helped the YSR Congress party in the last elections, the relationship between the two has been more or less smooth at least at the national level, though the state-level BJP leaders have been criticising his policies consistently for their own political survival.

Initially, the BJP central leadership reportedly invited Jagan to join the NDA but the latter is learnt to have asked for some more time, since it would send wrong signals to the people if he joined the NDA immediately. He reportedly told the BJP leadership that he would take a call after one year.

However, sources said there is a serious talk going on in the YSRC of late that the sooner the party joins the NDA the better.

One prime reason is that the state is facing a serious financial crisis and if the YSRC joins the NDA and accepts a couple of posts in the central cabinet, it would be easier to get funds to the state for taking up various programmes.

Another reason is to pre-empt the rival parties like Telugu Desam Party and Jana Sena Party from getting back into the fold of the NDA.

Already, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu has been sending feelers to the BJP, while Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan has openly said he has never moved away from the BJP but has been friendly with it. So, if the YSRC joins the NDA, it would close the doors for the TDP and the Jana Sena.

However, there is another section which is of the view that any attempt to join hands with the BJP might prove disastrous for the YSRC.

The present BJP leadership is so wily and shrewd it would not lose any chance to grow independently in the southern states. Under any circumstances, it will not be willing to play a second fiddle to the YSRC in Andhra, but would like to grow independently.

“The BJP is aware that it could not grow in Andhra Pradesh in the last five years, only because of its alliance with the TDP which never allowed to gain any footing in the state. So, as long as YSRC is independent and strong, the BJP continues to be an insignificant force. So, it will definitely create troubles for the YSRC,” a source said.

Moreover, just because YSRC joins the NDA, it cannot expect the Centre to release funds liberally.

“Everybody has seen how the Modi government has troubled Chandrababu Naidu by not releasing enough funds for the capital and Polavaram. It wants to have a grip over the state and make the state beg for every penny. That will ultimately harm Jagan as well as the state,” the source pointed out.

In any case, Jagan will take a call after going through all pros and cons of the decision to join the NDA, sources said.

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