The emergence of Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav as a key player in Uttar Pradesh politics could see YSR Congress chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy attempting to forge a long term relationship in the run-up to the 2014 general elections.
Mr. Yadav, in an interview to a TV channel, stated that Mr. Reddy was his friend and colleague in the Parliament, reflecting the rapport between them. Their friendship dates back to 2009 when both were elected to the Lok Sabha. Mr. Reddy was in regular contact with Mr. Yadav when he launched the new political party after severing ties with the Congress. He had called up the SP leader to compliment him for his party's spectacular electoral victory in UP.
Anakapalli MP Sabbam Hari, told The Hindu that while Mr. Mulayam Singh had a good working relationship with TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu, Yadav junior was friendly with Mr. Reddy. When Mr. Reddy undertook a train journey to New Delhi for his ‘Jaladeekhsa' last year, SP workers, led by the local MLA, gave him a rousing welcome at Jhansi railway station.
Mr. Reddy is looking for support from non-Congress parties so that they could forge some kind of alliance after the 2014 general elections. He is also in touch with leaders of other parties such as Trinamool Congress and Nationalist Congress Party. The SP leaders have been closely watching Mr. Reddy's political activities, particularly the ‘Odarpu yatra'. Surveys commissioned by various political parties across the country are said to be one reason for the SP leadership to look at YSR Congress chief as a force to reckon with in AP.