An entry with a bang and then a series of cases against him. Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of late Dr Y S Rajashekhar Reddy has been in the news ever since the quit the Congress party and formed his own party known as the YSR Congress party in Andhra Pradesh.
The wave was evident and right from day one of his much hyped up Odarpu Yatra of Andhra and Rayalseema, he pulled crowds in large numbers. Riding high on his father’s image and a sympathy factor, he went round seeking the blessings of the people. However this was cut short for a while with the Central Bureau of Investigation launching a series of raids against him.
Even when former Karnataka minister and mining baron, Janadhan Reddy was arrested, it was seen as a ploy to curb Jagan who is said to be close to the Bellary Reddy. The Odarpur Yatra which he is undertaking today came under a cloud thanks to the CBI cases, but what one witnesses is a scene no different from the first of the Yatras he undertook. Jagan is a picture of confidence and calm and says in this interview that the CBI raids are nothing but a witch hunt and the final judge is God.
As he continues to meet with various families under distress, he says that the next Government in Andhra Pradesh will be formed by him and no amount of raids can deter his chances since the people know by now that such raids are only being conducted out of malice since the Congress is worried about his growth. My father was a great source of support to me and he is the one who brought the Congress to power in the state.
Until I was there in that party, my father was a great man and today that I am out he has become a villain in the eyes of the Congress. The entire state knows what he has done for development and no amount of bad mouthing by his opponents can take that away from him. In politics each one has to face a lot of hardship and I am prepared for it. There is a witch hunt on against me and it is just a matter of time before the truth comes out. I am not worried about the CBI arresting me.
I know all the businesses are clean ventures and during the course of the probe, the CBI will also get to know that. In this state I wonder whether there is an opposition at all. At the moment I am playing the role of the opposition since the Congress and the Telegu Desam Party appear to have joined hands to fight me. It is a strange situation, but as I said I am prepared for everything and it was expected that they would try to stop my growth.
At the end of the day what matters is the love and support of the people which I have in abundance. I had said this on day one and will say it now too that the CBI raids against me is nothing but a witch hunt. I doubt whether it would result in my arrest since I have enough proof to show that all the ventures in which I am involved in are clean. The CBI has not called me for questioning, but I am open to any investigation. Today they are targeting my father in connection with the Emaar case when everyone knows that it was Chandrababu Naidu who cleared that project when he was the Chief Minister. This probe is aimed at not only ruining my political prospects but also the create a headache for my investors. However I maintain that all investments were legitimate in nature and this can be proven at the right time. The allegations are endless and it is being said that I had taken money and my companies had benefited when my father was the Chief Minister.
They speak about the Sandur Power Company which has an investment of Rs 150 crore. The fact is that the clearence for this project was given much before my father became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. I have heard a lot of allegations that I may try and destroy the evidence. It is an unfair statement make against me. The CBI itself has not come up with any concrete evidence against me as yet and they are yet to call me for questionining. On the future of his party, he says that it will go far and he has the confidence that his party will emerge victorious.
The people will cast their vote for me and today they all realize that the Congress is after me since they fear. Let all this continue since at the end of the day it will only help us from going from strength to strength. I am confident that my party will win 240 seats in AP. Many surveys have indicated the same the love which I get from the people also goes on to show me that picture. I connect with the masses at the grass root level and they do understand that I am here not only for their votes but since I am genuinely concerned about them. On the question that he may get back to the Congress, Reddy says that this is not a possibility. I am not thinking of anything of that sort and there will be no pre or post poll alliances with the Congress either. About the question of other alliances too, I am not thinking about it since I firmly believe that we will win the 2014 elections with a majority and would not need any support. This is not arrogance, but this is confidence that my people have given me. I know I am being accused of making the Congress weak and they blame me for the recent spate of resignations. You are free to ask any of them whether I have asked them to resign.
I have not even been in touch with them. Most of them are upset with the fact that the Congress has been targeting my father. They know what my father had done for the party and they will not take unwanted allegations against him. I guess these MLAs too were hurt and hence they came out of the Congress. How much can they sit and listen to the allegations against me and my father. It was bound to wear off someday. The Congress should realize that they have only more to lose if they continue to accuse and try and crush me. Many of the MLAs in the Congress had won only on the name of my father. They too realize that by staying on in a party which is accusing him they only have a lot to lose out at the end of it. On the current strength of the Congress, he points out that he does not think too much about that. I know that Chiranjeevi has joined them. What I have seen of him is that he is able to pull crowds and not votes. The Congress does not have any leader today who can pull votes leave alone a crowd. Regarding the controversial Telangana issue, Jagan has to say that it is up to the party in power to decide on that. I am not in touch with any of the Telangana leaders. They feel humiliated by the Congress at the end of the day and hence there is such a split in the party on that issue too.