Hyderabad, February 7 (NSS): What is the game plan of AICC president Sonia Gandhi in diligently ensuring the merger of the Praja Rajyam party with the Congress in the State? Is there something more to it than meets the eye in the “jhat mangni , phat shaadi” between the two parties?
Though there is no denial of the fact that it is a “marriage of convenience” between the 125-year old Congress and 30-month old PRP, Ms Sonia Gandhi seems to have maneuvered to bring the “odd couple” together with a long-term plan to suit her “Vision 2014” agenda.
The AICC president’s primary concern is undoubtedly to ward off any threat to the Kiran Kumar government from the Jagan “menace” looming large in the State. And she seemed to have succeeded in this aspect what with the merger of the PRP with the Congress and the outside support being extended by the MIM.
The ruling Congress has a strength of 155 members in the 293-member State Assembly and with the merger of PRP, its tally has risen to 173. Taking into consideration the outside support of seven MIM members, the Congress can boast of support from 180 members. Thus, even if 25 Congress members shift their loyalty to the Jagan camp, the ruling party can comfortably sail through any crisis. Moreover, the Congress-PRP merger would also deter the Jagan loyalists to jump the ship immediately.
Thus, having succeeded in her immediate goal to checkmate the plans of the former Kadapa MP, Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, and ensure the stability of the Kiran Kumar government in the State, Ms Sonia Gandhi seemed to be having a bigger agenda for the Congress with an eye on the 2014 elections. Since the Congress has secured 33 Lok Sabha seats from the State in the 2009 elections, which paved the way for the Congress-led UPA to come to power at the Centre, the AICC president seemed determined that her party in the State would repeat the performance, if not better its feat, in the coming elections.
One cannot ignore the fact that the tricky Telangana issue might pose a big hurdle for Ms Sonia Gandhi’s “Vision 2014”. However, political analysts feel that the AICC president might be having something up her sleeve to cross the hurdle in order to achieve her objective for a Congress victory in the next elections.
EYE ON 2014 ELECTIONS
Recalling the recent remarks of TRS president K. Chandrasekhara Rao that he was prepared to even join hands with the Congress if Ms Sonia Gandhi gives a categorical assurance on conceding the demand for a separate Telangana State, the political analysts feel that it should not come as a surprise if a “tacit understanding” is reached between the Congress and the TRS. To achieve her goal, Ms Sonia Gandhi might strike a deal with the TRS with an assurance that a Telangana State would be carved out once the Congress comes to power soon after the 2014 elections, political analysts observed.
However, even if bifurcation of the State becomes inevitable before the 2014 elections, political analysts aver that Ms Sonia Gandhi might still maneuver a Congress-PRP type deal with the TRS on the condition that the Congress would pave the way for a Telangana State if the pink party extends support to it in the ensuing elections.
Thus despite the reservations being expressed in certain quarters over the compatibility between the newly wedded Congress and PRP, Ms Sonia Gandhi’s “Vision 2014” seemed to have hastened the two parties to tie the knot. (NSS)