All options open, except Congress, says Jagan Mohan Reddy
Hyderabad – Jagan Mohan Reddy, whose YSR Congress is contesting its first Lok Sabha elections, has made clear that he is open to doing business with anyone but his former party the Congress.
“I have kept all my options open except the Congress,” said the 41-year-old Mr Reddy, not ruling out support to a BJP-led National Democratic Alliance or NDA government at the Centre, to “protect the interests of Seemandhra following bifurcation of the state.”
Mr Reddy predicted that his party would sweep Seemandhra, the residuary regions of Andhra Pradesh after the state of Telangana is carved out. A recent NDTV opinion poll showed that while Mr Reddy could bag a not insignificant 10 of the 25 seats in Seemandhra, his prospects have been somewhat hit by the partnership that Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party or TDP has entered into with the BJP.
The TDP-BJP, the NDTV opinion poll shows, could get 14 of those seats.
Andhra Pradesh also votes for what will be two new assemblies by June 2 this year. Mr Reddy released his party’s manifesto last evening, promising to build a capital city “better than Hyderabad” for Seemandhra, which has bitterly opposed bifurcation not least because it will eventually lose the Andhra Pradesh capital to the new Telangana state. The people of Seemandhra feel their interests have been betrayed because they will also lose a hefty share of water, power and revenue.
Mr Reddy promised, “We will build a capital city that is better than
Hyderabad…It will be a model city. The advantage for us is that we are starting from the scratch.”
Jagan Reddy is the son of YSR Reddy, who as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh had won the Congress an emphatic victory in both the Lok Sabha elections and the Assembly polls held in 2009.
In September that year YSR Reddy died in a helicopter crash. Jagan Reddy rebelled against the Congress for not seeing in him his father’s natural successor and quit the party to launch his own.