Andhra: Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham to join YSRCP ahead of Assembly elections

After quitting the TDP in 1988, Padmanabham has criticised the TDP, the YSRCP, and the Congress on various counts for “doing too little or not doing enough” for the Kapu community.
Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham
Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham
Written by:

Kapu stalwart Mudragada Padmanabham will be joining the YSR Congress party (YSRCP) headed by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy ahead of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly and Lok Sabha elections on March 14. He announced his decision on March 10. Addressing the media at his residence at Kirlampudi village in Kakinada district on Sunday, March 10, Padmanabham said that he is extending unconditional support for the YSRCP. 

“I am prepared to accept any responsibility or any post after YSRCP forms the government for the second term in Andhra Pradesh. Post-victory, I will not ask anything from CM Jagan,” he said. The senior Kapu leader added that YSRCP’s victory would mean more welfare schemes that would benefit the people.

The Kapus are classified as a forward caste community and have been demanding inclusion in the BC category since the late 80s. Kapus have been a politically dominant community in Andhra and are more in number than the powerful Reddy and Kamma communities in the state. 

A delegation of YSRCP led by Rajanagaram MLA Jakkampudi Raja’s brother Ganesh went to Kirlampudi village in Konaseema district on March 7 to hold talks with the 71-year-old leader and invited him to join the party. 

According to local reports, YSRCP regional coordinator for East Godavari-Konaseema districts and Lok Sabha member Peddireddy Mithun Reddy spoke to Padmanabham over phone and informed him that CM Jagan has invited him to join the party.

Padmanabham’s entry into YSRCP comes as a surprise, especially considering his criticism of CM Jagan. The CM had openly admitted in July 2018 that he cannot assure reservation to Kapus but promised that Rs 10,000 crore would be allocated to the Kapu Corporation if voted to power. 

Also Read: Whose reservation is it anyway? The Kapu question in Andhra politics

Further, in July 2019, Jagan scrapped the 5% reservation under the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota introduced by the TDP government stating that the 10% EWS reservation was exclusively for the poorest among forward castes, implying that the Kapus weren’t among them.

Mudragada Padmanabham rose to prominence as a popular leader in the late 1980s following the murder of  Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga, a Congress leader and a member of the Kapu community. Padmanabham was a member of the Congress party before defecting to the TDP and becoming a minister in the state government between 1985 and 1988.

After quitting the TDP in 1988, he has been critical of the TDP, the YSRCP, and the Congress on various counts for “doing too little or not doing enough” for the Kapu community. Till date, he holds sway over the Kapu community and has been demanding that the forward caste group be classified as BC and receive reservation in education and jobs. 

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute