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Know Your Leader | Strong, committed Jagan Mohan Reddy turns nemesis for CM Naidu in Andhra Pradesh

Jagan has made it clear that his party will not be part of any alliance in the forthcoming state and general polls

April 02, 2019 / 08:12 PM IST
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Winning the first Assembly polls in the truncated Andhra Pradesh has become a bigger challenge for Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, as YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is giving him a tough fight to gain power.

After separating from the Congress in 2010, Jagan took over the leadership of the YSRCP in 2011. Since then, he has moved strategically on the political road with his eye on Andhra’s chief ministerial post.

In 2014 Assembly polls, Jagan fought the polls with his full strength in Andhra Pradesh. An MP from Kodapa seat at that time, he decided to contest the election from his family pocket borough Pulivendula. He gained the support of voters in Pulivendula and won the seat, but his party lost to Naidu led-Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the state.

After 2014 defeat, Jagan —  the Leader of Opposition in AP Assembly — started preparing for the 2019 Assembly elections. In five years, the political leader has forged a strong connection with the people of the state.

People’s leader

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Jagan, who plunged into politics as a Congress member in 2004, has a way with people. In 15 years, he has never stopped being in the midst of crowds.

After the then AP CM and his father YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s death in 2009, he decided to take out Odarpu Yatra (condolence tour) to visit every family in the state who lost a member due to the shock of his father’s demise. Despite opposition from the Congress, he continued the tour.

In 2015, he undertook an indefinite fast in support of Special Status for Andhra Pradesh.

However, the one campaign that completely presented him in a new light and brought him closer to voters was the Praja Sankalpa Yatra. For over a period of 14 months, beginning November 6, 2017, and ending January 9, 2019, Jagan toured the state walking over 3,000 km, covering thousands of villages and speaking directly to people.

Strong and committed leader

Jagan has created an image of a strong and committed leader. Whether it was continuing Odarpu Yatra despite the leadership’s opposition, quitting the party after a fallout, standing strongly on the issue of Special Status for AP or protesting against the government on issues concerning the common man, Jagan always made his presence felt in the state.

A lone fighter

Jagan has made it clear that his party will not be a part of any alliance in forthcoming state and general polls. With this decision, he has become one among the fence-sitters in the run-up to the upcoming elections.
Somya Lohia

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