Hyderabad, Sept. 30: Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy today alleged connivance of the Congress and the Telugu Desam in the CBI’s assets case against him, the comments laced with praise of “able administrator” Narendra Modi minus his Hindutva ideology.
“I would not have been in jail for 16 months if I had struck a deal with the Congress,” the YSR Congress chief said, shooting back at suggestions about a “deal” with the Congress as he addressed his first media interaction since his release on bail last week.
The comments came against the backdrop of claims that the Congress was diluting the case against him in the hope that the YSR Congress would merge with it or extend support after next year’s polls.
Answering questions on his party's future alliances, Jagan said he admired the administrative skills of Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, but not his Hindutva beliefs.
“Personally, I admire Narendra Modi as an able administrator but I want him to realise that irrespective of religion, all Indians are the same. Why create insecurity among people?”
On a query about tie-ups for next year’s election, Jagan listed a host of potential partners. “There are the communists, the JD(U) and many other secular parties that the YSR Congress could work with.”
On the case against him, Jagan claimed the complaints that had led to it were jointly lodged by the Congress and the Desam. “It was Congress minister Shankar Rao and TDP (Desam) leaders K. Yerran Naidu and Ashok Gajapathi Raju who had complained to court.”
Yerran Naidu and Raju’s plea were the same as Rao’s, without “changing even the commas or full stops”, Jagan alleged, lashing out at Desam chief Chandrababu Naidu and the party for their “persistent campaign” against him.
The Kadapa MP faces charges that investments were made in his businesses in return for favours when his father, the late Y.S.R. Reddy, was chief minister from 2004 to 2009.
Jagan, who quit the Congress in 2010, said the party-led Andhra government had not filed any plea in the case against others in the case, suggesting he was being made a scapegoat.
Jagan met governor E.S.L. Narasimhan today and demanded an Assembly session be convened immediately to pass a resolution on keeping Andhra united. Jagan has taken charge of his party’s Samaikyandhra (united Andhra) campaign in the 13 non-Telangana districts against the planned bifurcation. His party has lined up a series of public meetings, including a rally in Hyderabad in two weeks.