Former MLC and once a trusted lieutenant of the YSR family, Jupudi Prabhakara Rao, had returned to the YSR Congress on Vijaya Dasami day. YSR Congress president and chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy had welcomed the Dalit leader with a shawl. Prabhakar had called himself a Prodigal Son, who had returned home.
He was picked up by late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy after the death of Mala Mahanadu founder P V Rao, who had championed the cause of Mala community against the categorisation of SC reservations, a demand strongly put forward by Manda Krishna Madiga and Ponugoti Krupakar Madiga, the two founder members of the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS).
Jupudi Prabhakar filled the vacuum caused by the death of P V Rao and thus moved close to Rajasekhar Reddy. Being an orator, Jupudi could make his way into the corridors of power in no time and was a close aide of Jaganmohan Reddy, after the death of Rajasekhar Reddy. In fact, Jupudi was one of the very few leaders, besides the family members, who were present when Jaganmohan Reddy was arrested by the CBI on May 27, 2012.
However, he left the party and deserted the YSR family after the 2014 elections, alleging internal squabbles in the Prakasam district unit of the party, which led to his defeat in the elections. He then joined the Telugu Desam Party and became the target of the YSR Congress since then.
The leader who protected and argued for Jaganmohan Reddy in the hour of crisis, went to the extent of beating Jaganmohan Reddy below the belt while in TDP in the last four years. His oratory skills which made him close to the YSR family were well used by the TDP and it is here that the YSR Congress activists are upset with his return.
There are several leaders holding key posts in the YSR Congress, who have criticised the party and Jaganmohan Reddy, more than Jupudi Prabhakara Rao. But, it is only his oratory skills and his ability to convince the rivals with his criticism had gone deeper into the people, which makes the cadre uncomfortable with his return.
The cadre would have to accept Jupudi, despite their opposition, as the leader (Jaganmohan Reddy) had accepted him in the larger interests of the party, to be specific, in terms of retaining the Mala vote bank.