Andhra Pradeshs ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) may once again bail out the BJP-led NDA, which appears to be trailing behind the opposition by about 2 per cent votes in the Presidential elections scheduled in July.
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) are the two parties which have always come to the rescue of the Narendra Modi-led government whenever it needed the support from outside the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to pass crucial Bills in the Parliament.
Though YSRCP leaders have still not revealed the stand they will take in the Presidential polls, political observers say that it is a foregone conclusion given the political compulsions of Jagan Mohan Reddy and the track record of the party in coming to the rescue of NDA in critical times.
As YSRCP’s value of votes is estimated to be 4 per cent in the electoral college for the Presidential polls, its role is likely to be crucial to ensure victory of the NDA candidate in the event of the opposition parties fielding a joint candidate.
The electoral college comprises members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and all state assemblies.
Considering its strength of MPs in both the Houses of Parliament and its tally in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, YSRCP’s vote value is estimated at 43,674, the highest among the parties considered as fence-sitters.
“In the present circumstances, Jagan Mohan Reddy is not compelled to take an anti-BJP stance. He also has the comfort of claiming �elections to Constitutional positions must not be politicised’,” said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.
Ever since YSRCP formed the government in Andhra Pradesh in 2019, the party enjoyed friendly relations with the Modi government.
Even in the 2017 elections for thre President and Vice-President, YSRCP had backed NDA candidates. It also supported the Modi government in the Parliament for passing crucial Bills like criminalisation of triple talaq and abrogation of Article 370.
The party also sailed with the NDA government on three controversial farm laws.
Political observers say that at a time when it is not having any problems with the Modi government, there is no reason why it should go against it in the Presidential polls. The cordial relations with the Centre are also helping YSRCP deflect criticism of the state government by BJP’s state leadership.
“YSRCP might not be prepared for a multi-frontal attack from all opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh,” said Raghavendra Reddy.
Since the BJP-led NDA is in a comfortable position after the saffron party’s victory in four out of five state Assemblies recently, YSRCP would not like to create problems for itself by opposing its candidates, as such a move could push the BJP closer to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the state.
BJP’s central leadership appears to be in no mood to revive their alliance with the TDP, though TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu appears keen to join hands with the saffron party once again to put up a united fight by the opposition parties against the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in the state