Congress gameplan to rein in Jagan

The Congress's move to push for the creation of Telangana state is aimed at isolating and restricting Y S Jaganmohan Reddy completely. When Telangana comes into existence, there won't be much difference between the new state and the rest of Andhra Pradesh as far as number of districts or Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies are concerned. But it would certainly restrict Jaganmohan's political influence to less than half the state.

Jaganmohan, who is meeting national and regional party leaders to seek support for a united Andhra Pradesh, may have unwittingly become the reason for bifurcation of the state.

The Congress's decision to create Telangana is more out of political compulsions and driven by the fact that it faces a formidable opponent in Jaganmohan. It is doing so to offset the political rout it faces in 2014 elections in Coastal and Rayalaseema districts known as Seemandhra, at the hands of Jaganmohan and his YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).

Had he not quit the Congress and launched his own party, and if the Congress was not staring at complete decimation instead of a repeat of 2009 when 33 Congress MPs were elected, things may have been very different.

Jaganmohan's father late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy kept the separate state demand on a tight leash. But YSR's demise and Jaganmohan's political ambitions and the Congress's inability to control his rebellion has changed the course of Andhra Pradesh's history.

Bifurcating the state restricts Jaganmohan to the 13 districts of Seemandhra and will open up a contest between him and Telugu Desam Party's N Chandrababu Naidu. The Congress is hoping to offset this loss in Seemandhra by creating Telangana state and win a majority of the 17 MP seats either by contesting alone or in alliance with Telangana Rashtra Samiti.

The Rayala-Telangana option that was earlier being considered by the Group of Ministers constituted to look into Telangana to include Anantapur and Kurnool districts of Rayalaseema in Telangana state would have further isolated Jaganmohan's party and restricted him to 11 Seemandhra districts.

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