Modi and Jagan Reddy meeting fuels speculation

After having refused an appointment barely a month-and-half ago to YSR Congress president Jaganmohan Reddy and his MPs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday met with the delegation for twenty minutes. Later, Modi and Jagan had a one-on-one that lasted for about 10 minutes. Jagan is scheduled to meet with Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday. The Monday meeting took place a few days after the Enforcement Directorate attached assets of some of the accused in the Lepakshi Knowledge Hub and Ramky Pharma City CBI cases in which Jagan is accused number one. TDP leaders, apprehensive about the meeting, said that Jagan went knocking at the doors of the powers that be to disentangle himself from the cases.

But sources in the YSR Congress claimed that the BJP was unhappy with the TDP and is warming up to them. In fact, on February 17, Jagan had led a team of his party MPs to Delhi to meet Modi, but the PM did not grant him an audience and the YSR Congress leader had to return after meeting Jaitley and Union home minister Rajnath Singh.

YSR Congress claimed that it was the BJP, through some intermediaries of Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who indicated to Jagan that the PM was willing to meet him. Interestingly, Jagan appears to have had a sudden change of heart as far as the agitation against the Pattiseema project is concerned.

After having decided to join hands with the CPI and CPM in opposing the project, Jagan is believed to have told the party cadre that they would agitate all by themselves. As evidence of YSR Congress and BJP warming up, political analysts said the recent withdrawal of the no-confidence motion against AP speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao by the YSR Congress and the TDP government dropping its move to take action against eight opposition MLAs as having been brokered by a BJP MLA.

On his part, Jagan told the media in Delhi that there was nothing wrong in him maintaining close relations with the NDA government and the Prime Minister. "What is wrong in that," was his reply to a query from the media. Jagan said his meeting with the PM was related to two issues, the need to expedite the Polavaram project and his party's opposition to the 'anti-farmer' Shanta Kumar Committee report. "Apart from these two, we raised the issue of the capital construction, special status for AP, special railway zone etc. The PM's response was positive and cordial." However, the BJP sources ruled out any political realignment either in AP or at the Centre.