HYDERABAD: Pinning hopes on YSR’s name doing the magic, the J-camp legislators who have been disqualified by the Speaker are preparing to face the by-elections. They feel the endless Odarpu Yatras of Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy will get them a rich harvest of sympathy votes.
This apart, they are keenly watching the moves of the CBI vis-a-vis Jagan Mohan Reddy. Dismissing as baseless the rumours that the CBI might arrest Reddy any time, YSRC leader Ambati Rambabu handed out a threat to the agency that if it tried to touch him, thousands of hands would rise to protect him.
Deep down in their hearts, the J-campers are suspected to have a lurking fear that the CBI might summon Reddy for interrogation as it is keen on completing the charge sheet against him in the case relating to his riches.
Contending that it is a remote possibility, former PRP MLA B Sobha Nagireddy said: “I don’t think the Congress will ask the CBI to proceed against Jagan. If it does anything so foolish, it would be a sweep of all seats for us,” she said.
While this is so, the outcome of by-elections for 16 Assembly seats in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema is expected to have a profound impact on the Congress. It has already admitted defeat in Telangana (six bypolls on March 18). PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana had said even if the Congress loses the polls, it is not going affect the arithmetic in the Assembly. Nizamabad MP Madhu Yashki said there was no way the Congress could win the Telangana polls.
But the outcome of Kovuru by-election on March 18 is likely to give a clue on the thought process of the coastal Andhra voters.
The Congress wants to utilise Chiranjeevi in all the 16 seats in Seemandhra. The party seems to have a readymade solution for selection of candidates for 16 of the 17 seats. As most of the legislators disqualified a few days ago were Congress members, the party is considering fielding the PRP candidates who lost the elections to them in the 2009 general election.