Opinion- Jagan's narcissism: 'Permanent president' unprecedented

The party that's elected to power through a democratic means in Andhra Pradesh has virtually trampled democracy under its feet.

Opinion- Jagans narcissism: Permanent president unprecedented

HYDERABAD: YSR Congress party's electoral college has "elected" its president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy as "Permanent President". What does this mean? The party that's elected to power through a democratic means in Andhra Pradesh has virtually trampled democracy under its feet. The amendment to the constitution of the political party concerned will have to be ratified by the Election Commission of India in accordance with the laws of formation of political parties. This should also be in consonance with Representation of People Act. Electing a "permanent president" by any political party with a considerable standing among the people within the democratic framework is unprecedented. And, unheard of. If the Constitution of India and the Constitutional bodies uphold the action of electing Jaganmohan Reddy as permanent president, even that becomes unprecedented.

However, there is no guarantee that such a constitutional insulation or endorsement will be available to the humdinger of a decision of the YSR Congress that is seemingly asinine.

Jagan's decision to show the door to his mother, Y S Vijayamma, who stood by him in his thick and d ever since his father Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was killed in a helicopter crash, has come under severe criticism from the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Though Vijayamma, during her extraordinarily articulate address to delegates at the YSR Congress plenary on Friday, asserted that she had decided to resign only to support her daughter Y S Sharmila and her political forays in Telangana, it left everyone wondered. Because, who would quit the top-most position of a political party whose popularity is reigning supreme in a state where it is in power.

The screenplay of vijayamma's speech was perfectly scripted. Only the resignation part was read out from a prepared text, while she was at her spontaneous best in narrating the circumstances that led to her handholding of her son. She was also at her vitriolic best when she tore apart the critics.

Becoming a "permanent president" has exposed jagan on two counts: 1. Jagan is a narcissist and doesn't believe in a democratic process within his party; 2. Jagan is afraid of a possible coup from within the party.

Jagan's unflinching forbearance has apparently gone for a toss, for he laid bare that he was afraid of his own shadow. If he's confident of his position in the party, he wouldn't have stirred the proverbial hornet's nest to draw criticism from multiple quarters.

Presidency of a political party should follow the dictum of majority opinion prevails. When an elected leader is sworn in to a constitutional position, he's administered an oath of office where he either solemnly affirms or swears in the name of the god that he bears "true faith and allegiance to the Constitution as by law established…"

Precisely this is what enthrones a person to an office of authority. Those who swear to owe faith in the Constitution should not act in contravention of that even within his party, though it's a party floated by him or her.

The tussle for leadership or presidency of political parties between two leaders is not too uncommon in indian democracy.

Thank God — this reference is frequently invoked by Jagan — that he did not change the party constitution to pronounce that the electoral symbol will also "permanently stay" with himself. For, apart from squabble for leadership (rather ownership of a political party), there have been umpteen instances where two warlords within the same political party locked horns to usurp the party's electoral symbol two. Instances of Indira Gandhi being thrown out by Congress president S Nijalingappa in 1969 over the sensational call by her for 'conscience vote' in the Presidential election of V V Giri and the consequential fight over "two bullocks with a yoke" symbol and later when she parted ways with Kasu Brahmananda Reddy over the presidency of the Congress and their battle over 'Cow and calf' symbol are long forgotten. More recently, the ownership of the party and symbol issues were fought by Janaki Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa of AIADMK. While Janaki got the party's official symbol of "two leaves", Jayalalithaa was allotted a "cock" symbol by the Election Commission.

In the Telugu hinterland, the fight between NTR and N Chandrababu Naidu, who had usurped the Telugu Desam Party by all means that would stand legal scrutiny, form the former had unveiled the possibility of formation of a breakaway group by a "majority" of stakeholders at all levels. Latest of that ilk is the Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray's deposition by Eknath Shinde in Maharashtra.

Why can't Jagan follow his "one-time favourite leader and Telangana Chief Minister" KCR who has never showed signs that the party would be snatched away from him by anyone.

Leveraging advantage for political gains is always welcome. Sometimes, even political maneuvering is also acceptable in the game of one-upmanship. But flouting the democratic tenets by those with a haunting suspicion within their minds surely impales their palpable diffidence. Jaganmohan Reddy is a case in point.

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