Andhra Pradesh | Posted on Jan 26, 2012 at 09:01am IST
Statue row to escalate Mala drift from Congress?
indianexpress Express News Service , The New Indian Express
HYDERABAD: The Congress might find it difficult to insulate itself
from the political fallout of the destruction of BR Ambedkar's statues
in East Godavari district which happened at a time when it was trying
to prevent Malas from coming under the influence of Jagan Reddy.
Regardless of whoever is responsible for the disfigurement and
sacrilege of the statues, the incident may not make Malas comfortable
under the Congress dispensation even though the Kiran Kumar Reddy
government had reacted very fast and sent an additional DGP rank
officer to Amalapuram to investigate the incident.
"In fact, the chief minister, on knowing about the disfigurement of
the statues, called a meeting with the state police chief and home
minister and reviewed the situation.
Anything like this had not happened before," a Mala leader said.
The seeds for the dissatisfaction of Malas under the present
dispensation were sown the day when Damodar Rajanarasimha, a Madiga,
was made the deputy chief minister of the state.
Though Geetha Reddy, a Mala, was angling for the post the Congress
ignored her, dashing the hopes of the community of bagging the coveted
It is believed that appointment of Damodar Rajanarasimha as the deputy
chief minister took place as a result of Madiga leaders, including MP
Manda Jagannadham, prevailing on the party high command.
Their stand was that though the party had favoured Malas in the past,
they had subsequently moved towards YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and,
therefore, Madigas should be preferred for the post.
In order to substantiate their argument, they referred to Mala leaders
Jupudi Prabakhar Rao and Pulla Padmavathi, who were sent to the
legislative council, finally ending up in Jagan Mohan Reddy camp.
The party had listened to them because one of them, Jagannadham, had
helped the UPA-I by voting in its favour on Indo-US nuclear deal
though he was in the TDP at that time.
The Malas, who were deeply hurt over the elevation of Damodar
Rajanarasimha felt that the party had rubbed salt into injury by
making him as one of the members of the Congress Coordination
Committee without bothering to nominate anyone from their community to
This apart, Kiran Kumar Reddy had dismissed a Mala cabinet member, P
Shankar Rao, without even giving him an opportunity to resign.
According to Mala leaders, the party appears to have resigned to the
fact that a majority of Malas, who happened to be the traditional vote
bank of the Congress, would move towards Jagan.
This was the main reason why the Madigas began getting patronage in
the Congress dispensation which would also help weaken the Telugu
Desam of which they happen to be loyal supporters till now.
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