The latest developments in Andhra Pradesh may appear as a setback for the ruling party and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. The ‘adverse’ decision by the Supreme Court which on Monday rejected the house motion moved by the State government could be interpreted as a defeat for the chief minister. The court admonished both the parties saying, “Ego between two authorities (is) causing all this lawlessness.” It might be interpreted as a victory for State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar. But the court had strong words for him as well. It depends on how one perceives the language used by the learned judges on the bench.
In fact, the Supreme Court has given an opportunity to the government. A terse statement from the government, preferably by the chief minister, saying, “We respect the apex court’s verdict. We shall implement the decision in its letter and spirit without any reservations. Our chief secretary would cooperate with Election Commissioner as required by the Constitution,” would put an end to the unsavoury controversy once and for all.
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The decision of the SC and the fact that the Panchayat elections would be held under Ramesh Kumar’s watch are not going to change the ground realities. YS Jagan Mohan Reddy remains the most popular leader in Andhra Pradesh even after a year and half in power. The series of welfare measures being implemented by YSRCP government have been reaching the targeted people irrespective of caste, region, religion or political affiliations. The stock of the main opposition party has not gone up and the BJP would continue with its efforts to replace the TDP as the primary opposition party.
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It may be the appropriate time for the chief minister to put the controversy behind him and proceed with governance. It may not be good for him to persist and give an impression that he is an incorrigible litigant and a leader who does not get on well with judiciary. If the judiciary as a class considers him as a rude or irreconcilable leader, it may tend to be unsympathetic to him in future. As a young leader who has a long way to go, Jagan Mohan Reddy can afford to be magnanimous and leave small things to others concentrating on administration and political affairs. He may remember that his political rivals are waiting for an opportunity to create trouble for him. He has to tread carefully so that his adversaries don’t get a chance to harm his interests.
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