140 of the 156 Congress MLAs in the Andhra Pradesh legislature may have backed his candidature in the aftermath of the death of his father, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, but the Congress high command has dealt with the demand to make YSR’s son Jagan Mohan Reddy Andhra’s next chief minister in trademark Congress style.
It has listened. It has prevaricated. It has sent confusing signals. It has appointed a stopgap. It has met the man said to be spearheading the campaign. It has held out alternate posts. And it is hoping the “emotional” pitch will simmer down in due course of time.
But Jagan Mohan Reddy, who runs a large media empire comprising a multi-edition newspaper Sakshi, and India’s first high-definition TV channel, Sakshi TV, is not the soft, subservient, self-effacing Congressman of yore.
Even as the party weighs the pros and cons of ignoring his claims, a full-throated campaign has been mounted on Sakshi TV projecting The Next Leader, complete with lyrics and music, and it is breathtaking for its sheer audacity of taking on the high command, and for the use, abuse and misuse of the media for self-glorification.
Looking at the imagery, it is even possible to forget that Jagan Mohan Reddy is but six months old as an MP.