Five YSR Congress Party Members resigned their membership from Lok Sabha on Friday and immediately sat on an indefinite hunger strike to build pressure on Modi Government at the Centre to accord Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh.
As announced earlier to resign their Lok Sabha membership, the five MPS — YV Subba Reddy, Varaprasad, Avinash Reddy, Mithun Reddy and Rajmohan Reddy — met Lok Sabha Speaker Sumithra Mahajan in her chambers and handed over their resignation letters without heeding to her advice to reconsider their action.
Earlier the Lok Sabha adjourned sine die within few minutes after it assembled. Though this was expected, the Telugu Desam MPs in a desperate attempt to dilute the YSRCP MP’s move, remained squatted in the House. They left the House on being informed that the Speaker would like to meet them. But they were outwitted by the Speaker who left before the TDP MPs reached her chambers.
Taken aback by these turn of events, the TDP MPs squatted before the Speaker’s chambers and told the Marshals that they would not leave the premises without meeting the Speaker. As a matter of fact the YSRCP MPs displayed their one-upmanship by calling on the Speaker earlier and submitting their resignations.
There is no denial of the fact that YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, President of YSRCP, has been a step ahead in scoring brownie points over his arch rival, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, on the issue of SCS for Andhra Pradesh. While Jagan has been agitating for long demanding SCS for AP, Naidu has been continuously changing his stance on the issue. As a matter of fact, it was Jagan’s persistent war against the Modi Government in the matter, that has compelled Naidu to first make his two ministers to quit the union cabinet and then sever ties with the BJP after honeymooning with it for nearly four years.
Though Jagan has been proclaiming that his party MPS would quit the Lok Sabha for the cause of SCS, the TDP seem to have treated the threat with a pinch of salt. Now that Jagan has amply proved “we do as we say”, Naidu and his ruling TDP seemed to have been pushed to the wall, especially in the run up to the electoral battle in 2019. Jagan’s calculated moves — undertaking a padayathra all over the state for the past over a month, making his party MPS to quit and go on an indefinite fast — seem to be paying off as he had succeeded in garnering the attention of the masses.
Naidu who has been continuously caught on the wrong foot on the SCS issue, in a bit to wriggle out of an awkward situation, has called for an all-party meeting in the state capital Amaravathi on Saturday. His desperation in the matter could be gauged from the fact that he even sent his emissaries to persuade his beta noir Jagan also to attend the meeting.
Thus all eyes are on Naidu as to what steps he would take to make his erstwhile ally BJP to concede the demand of SCS for AP and thus prevent the downfall of his ruling TDP’s electoral prospects in 2019.