ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS The Congress has intensified its efforts to rope in the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in Andhra Pradesh to gather the numbers to form a government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls. Though formal talks have not yet started, unofficial communications are on between the Congress and YSRCP, reveal party sources.
Asked about YSRCP chief Jaganmohan Reddy’s backing, a Congress leader said “nothing is impossible”. Congress president Rahul Gandhi is open to an alliance with the YSRCP, he added.
Jagan’s recent comments on “forgiving Congress” is being perceived as his readiness for a tie-up. Since Jagan might align with the party most likely to form a government, it will be crucial how many seats Congress and its political front, the UPA, manage to win.
If the UPA can win 180-190 seats, it can ally with YSRCP after seeking support of SP-BSP, Trinamool and TDP to reach the magic number of 272.
The Congress will convey the message seeking the YSRCP's backing if numbers do not disappoint, said sources.
The party might employ AICC general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Oommen Chandy and other top leaders for talks.
Meanwhile, the Congress’s proximity with TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu might create hurdles. Naidu’s statement not claiming stake to the role of prime minister might help ease tensions between them and, in turn, a possible alliance.
Promising special status for Andhra Pradesh may help to woo Jagan.
However, Jagan’s proximity to Telangana Chief Minister and TRS leader K. Chandrasekhar Rao is unsettling for the Congress. Rao is ready for a bargain with 30 seats expected between the two parties. Even though he has declared his party’s backing for anyone who might agree to his demands, the Congress feels Rao might finally go with the BJP. If he takes Jagan along, the opposition might fall short of an absolute majority.
TRS sources say Rao has kept open chances of allying with the Congress. Though Sharad Pawar (NCP) and H.D. Deve Gowda (JDS) are helping build bridges with Rao, the Congress is sceptical of his intentions.