Mumbai: With his clean sweep in the Assembly and Lok Sabha election, YSR Congress and Jaganmohan Reddy have taken a special status in the Indian politics. He virtually decimated Telugu Desam Party’s, Chandrababu Naidu. YSR Congress led in 152 of the state's 175 assembly seats and most of the 25 Lok Sabha seats.
YSR Congress was poised to become the second largest political party from the South, just behind DMK.
Jagan is likely to take oath on May 30 in Vijayawada.
It was virtually a ten-year wait that came to a happy end for Jagan, who nurtured the ambition of becoming Chief Minister soon after his father's death in September 2009.
The hard work done over the last eight years by Jagan has finally reaped. Another feather in the cap of Jagan’s success was appointing political strategist Prashant Kishor and his Indian Political Action Committee team. Prashant was appointed as special advisor to Jagan in May 2017 and together they strategised to wipe out Telugu Desam Party from Andhra.
The one of the main strategies that they formulated to defeat TDP was a trap they set in the form of Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh.
Halfway through Jagan’s ‘Praja Sankalpa Yatra’, he raised the issue of special category and slammed Naidu and his party for not being able to get it for the state. In bid to counter Jagan, Naidu was caught off guard and started mounting pressure on the BJP. This pressure resulted in breaking the TDP-NDA alliance.
Without BJP-led NDA’s support, Naidu had set the stage for YSR Congress’ victory.
Jagan’s key strategy was to interact and connect with people. He started with the 14-month long Praja Sankalpa Yatra during which he directly interacted with approximately 2 crore people in the state.
In process to connect with the state people, Jagan did Jagan Anna Pilupu campaign, wherein he wrote personalised letters to over 60,000 village-level neutral influencers, seeking their inputs to create a blueprint for the development of Andhra Pradesh.
The party conducted 5 exhaustive door-to-door outreaches over the last two years.
All these campaigns – on-ground and digital --- were handled by Prashant Kishor and his IPAC team.
In the last two decades, the career of YSR Congress president Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy, popularly known as Jagan has had a rather smooth and bumpy ride.
The first decade of his career was spent in building a business, while the second had been tumultuous for him as he set on the political path.
He has repeated what his father had achieved in 2004 when he dislodged Chandrababu Naidu from power.
Before joining politics, Jagan was a businessman. The only son of former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh (United), late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, Jaganmohan began his business career in 1999-2000. His business rose meteorically once his father became the CM in 2004 and ventured into other businesses including cement plants, infrastructure and media.
Jagan’s political ambitions were first revealed in late 2004 when he aspired to become an MP from his home turf Kapada but Congress rejected it.
He waited till 2009 to fulfil his dream. He made a formal political debut by winning Kapada Lok Sabha seat as Congress nominee.
Jagan’s life took a sharp turn when his father passed away in a helicopter crash in September 2009.
To take his father’s legacy ahead, he wanted to succeed to the chief minister’s throne but Congress did not grant him, despite a majority of legislators rallying behind him.
He gradually began defying Congress and by early 2010 he started making his own course in politics.
The drift between Jagan and Congress widened when he took the ‘Odarpu Yatra’. During this yatra, he went around villages and districts to console family whose kin allegedly committed suicide following his father’s sudden demise.
He succeeded in striking a positive connection with common people, which was largely based on the goodwill that his father earned for himself through welfare programmes.
After this, there was no turning back for Jagan as his popularity graph shot upwards and ruling Congress’ dipped gradually. He decided to snap his association with the Congress.
The final blow between the two parties came in November 2010. The Congress made N Kiran Kumar Reddy the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in place of K Rosiah.
On November 29, 2010, Jagan walked out of the alliance with the Congress, which his father loyally served for three decades. He also resigned from his Lok Sabha membership.
Challenging the oldest party in Indian politics, on December 7, 2010, Jagan announced that he would start a new political party within 45 days.
In March 2011, Jagan announced his own Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress (YSR Congress) throwing a challenge primarily at Congress and also Telugu Desam Party.
In May 2011, Jagan won the by-election to Kadapa seat with a record margin over five lakh votes, while his mother Y S Vijayamma won the Pulivendula seat in an emphatic fashion.
This win cleared the way for YSR Congress in the united state and emerged as the favourite to capture power.
In 2014, the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh halted Jagan’s ambitions as the voters preferred an experienced Chandrababu Naidu over the upcoming politician.
Jagan will now struggle to keep the one promise around which his entire campaign revolved — getting special category status (SCS) for Andhra Pradesh. Jagan could still strike a positive relationship with the BJP top brass, including PM Narendra Modi, but it will be difficult to convince the central government to give the status now that BJP does not need any external support in parliament.
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