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Politics makes strange bedfellows. The same realm can distance politicians who do not see eye to eye on matters of professed ‘public’ interest. Still, political disagreements should not be allowed to extend beyond politics and sour personal ties, especially with regard to a person who is dead and gone.

For, people will notice the attitude of a ruler towards his political adversary, more so after the perceived ‘enemy’ is dead.
There has been a lot of discussion among the general public over the attitude of Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who did not offer tributes to Congress’ prominent figure and former chief minister of combined Andhra Pradesh K. Rosaiah, who died recently. There may not be any immediate political fall-out of this; yet, people will remember such an attitude of exhibiting extreme aversion towards a person with whom his father had maintained cordial relations.

People in public life are expected to be broad-minded and flexible in nature, irrespective of one’s likes and dislikes. Jagan, by not paying tributes to Rosaiah, has bared his strong feelings against the departed leader. Former chief minister K. Rosaiah, who took the reins of combined Andhra Pradesh immediately after the sudden death of YSR in helicopter crash on 2 September, 2009, died recently at the ripe age of 88. Rosaiah had maintained cordial relations with Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy during his tenure as chief minister. YSR had reposed confidence in Rosaiah in view of his vast experience in presenting budgets for the state of AP and maintaining fiscal discipline.

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Knowingly or unknowingly Jagan has committed a mistake by not paying homage to his predecessor. Those who compare the ways of father and son may come to a conclusion that YSR’s attitude was entirely different from that of Jagan.

Apart from giving importance to Rosaiah, YSR had used him like a weapon to turn the tide against megastar Chiranjeevi in the Palakole Assembly constituency, where he had contested along with Tirupati seat. Despite being a place of his in-laws, Palakole rejected megastar and the result went in favour of the Congress nominee.

As per the plan of YSR, Rosaiah had worked hard to garner the support of the Vysya community, which has a strong presence there. Such a strong political figure has not been treated right even after death by the leadership of Andhra Pradesh – a state that was ruled also by the late leader. Jagan may get a taste of aversion from the Vysya community for this.

What could be the reason for Jagan’s perceived aversion towards Rosaiah?

Rosaiah was considered to be a ‘stumbling block’ for Jagan, who, upon the demise of YSR in 2009, had wrongly thought that he would automatically become the chief minister of combined Andhra Pradesh. He was then having just four months’ experience in his new role of Lok Sabha member from his native district of Kadapa. Of course, strong feelings were expressed then by MPs and MLAs that Jagan should be made chief minister.

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Despite a signature campaign, Congress president Sonia Gandhi outrightly rejected such proposals in favour of Jagan and made Rosaiah as YSR’s successor in chief ministership.

APCC was not allowed by frenzied supporters of Jagan even to conduct a condolence meeting at Prakasam Hall on the premises of Gandhi Bhavan. Followers of Jagan felt that Rosaiah had grabbed the opportunity that ought to have come to their leader. Rosaiah had clearly acted as per the instructions of Congress high command.

One leader (now MLA) who hails from Rosaiah’s native district of Guntur went on to say that Rosaiah had already become old and cannot work as chief minister, unlike young Jagan. Such incidents had widened the gap between the two leaders. The presence of Rosaiah ultimately made Jagan to distance himself from Congress party, after N. Kiran Kumar Reddy was brought in.

Telangana Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao tore into then AP chief minister Rosaiah for not agreeing to organise ‘September 17’ celebrations officially. Yet, KCR paid his last respects to Rosaiah’s mortal remains and announced three-day state mourning. Rosaiah hails from residuary AP; yet, CM Jagan did not turn up due to unknown reasons.

YSR attended the funeral of prominent Congress leader and former CLP leader P. Janardhan Reddy, though everybody knew the fact that these two leaders had crossed swords several times, despite being towering leaders of the same party.

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When former CM Jalagam Vengala Rao died in the first month of 1999, his successor Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy refused to see the lifeless face of Vengala Rao.

Despite repeated requests made by Congress leaders, including former PCC president V.Hanumantha Rao, Kotla did not yield.

The treatment given by Congress leadership to former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao was also puzzling. Then Congress president Sonia Gandhi did not allow the vehicle that carried PV’s dead body into the premises of AICC headquarters i.e. 24, Akbar Road!

Irony was that the same PV had led AICC then and that too at the behest of Sonia Gandhi. The last rites of PV were performed by his family members at Hyderabad. YSR had been entrusted to oversee the last journey of PV. YSR had had serious differences with the departed leader; yet, he skipped his annual Christmas celebrations at his Idupulapaya estate for the purpose.

Setting extreme feelings aside for a genuine cause was a special quality of YSR that brought a lot of respect for him in the public domain. It is time for Jagan to introspect on why he did not follow his father’s copybook on such matters. #KhabarLive #hydnews

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