Having returned to Hyderabad thoroughly discredited with All India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh, Veerappa Moily denying that he had given his nod for continuing Odarpu Yatra, Jaganmohan Reddy finds himself much more isolated than ever before.
Not only are most of his loyalists, reluctant to come to his defence, as many 13 ministers chose to come out in support of Rosaiah. In what is being seen a concerted counter attack by the CM against Jagan, the ministers held a joint press conference to roundly condemn Jagan's outburst against the CM and his government on the issue of violence in Mahbubabad.
In fact state health minister and YSR loyalist Danam Nagendar, who was in the forefront to make Jagan the chief minister last year, dismissed Jagan's criticism of the Rosaiah as "irresponsible". The other YSR loyalists who joined in censuring Jagan include Botsa Satyanarayana, Sabita Indra Reddy and Gade Venkat Reddy.
Rosaiah has cleverly refused to publicly join the tirade against Jagan, but has marshalled other resources to target him. Apart from pitting the ministers to defend the government, he also got the state director general of police RR Girish Kumar to come out with a denial that the police had failed in curbing violence in Mahbubabad. The mood in Jagan's camp fluctuated wildly. After Jagan's meeting with Moily, his supporters were jubilant. But as soon Moily vehemently denied having given him the permission, their jubilation died down.
In a reflection of Jagan loosening grip over his loyalists, on Wednesday very few of his supporters turned up to meet him. They include former minister and MLA Konda Surekha and her husband Konda Murli, MLC. Both of them had played a crucial role in making Jagan go against party high command and undertake the foiled Yatra of Warangal district. There were stray demonstrations of loyalty by minister for mines, B Srinivas Reddy, who is related to the Reddy family, and a Kadapa district MLA Srikant Reddy.
The prevalent feeling among the Congress leaders was that Jagan had antagonised the party's high command specially party president Sonia Gandhi. "The entire episode has exposed Jagan as an immature and hasty young man who was desperate to become the chief minister of the state. The entire clamour about undertaking a condolence tour is a mere pretext to mobilise his supporters", a senior leader said.