Amaravati: Speculation over a post poll scenario brings forth heavy hitters from the regions, sometimes called political weathercocks. So expect their actions and statements to be dissected for hidden meaning. YS Jagan Mohan Reddy of YSR Congress Party, who is nipping away at the heels of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, is a key player in state politics. However, he could be positioning himself for a possible role at the national level once election results are out.
The YSR Congress Party did not fare well in 2014 in terms of seats won in the Assembly and the Lok Sabha but was right up there with Chandrababu Naidu's TDP in terms of vote percentage.
This is what provided the launch pad for his key position in Andhra Pradesh politics. The YSRCP won eight Lok Sabha seats to the Telugu Desam's 15 but was ahead on voting percentage -- 45.38 per cent to the TDP's 40.53 per cent. In the Assembly elections, it was just about at the same level, cornering 44.4 per cent of the vote to the TDP's 44.6 per cent. This is where YS Jagan's strength comes from. If this vote base translates into seats, YS Jagan could be a big player if the Lok Sabha polls do not throw up a clear winner at the Centre.
His rise has been inversely proportional to Chandrababu Naidu's political fortunes. Chandrababu has been dogged by charges of corruption and favouritism. Amaravati and Polavaram among several other promises, rampant corruption in irrigation projects, sand mining, unfulfilled loan waivers to farmers and women's groups could be among factors which could go against the TDP.
In 2014, the BJP and Pawan Kalyan had helped Naidu win by the skin of his teeth. The records show that the TDP won 102 of 175 Assembly seats with YSR Congress Party winning 66, but as shown earlier, the two parties were at the same level in terms of vote percentage.
Now, TDP is without the BJP and Pawan Kalyan's support. That would be advantage to the YSRCP chief, who launched a blistering campaign against the TDP government's record in governance and corruption in the run-up to polling for the Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh on April 11.
YS Jagan has repeatedly said he will back the party that provides special category status to Andhra Pradesh -- a promise made by the UPA-II government when Andhra Pradesh was divided to create Telangana.
(With inputs from IANS)