‘Congress President Sonia Gandhi is largely to be blamed for the Telangana problem. She has done something that even the British did not do to Andhra Pradesh’
YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy say he is keeping all his options open and will ally with the Bharatiya Janata Party if they defeat the Telangana Bill in Parliament.
Reddy, who is expected to win a lion’s share of the votes in the Seema-Andhra region, is in New Delhi to protest the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. He tells Rediff.com’s Vicky Nanjappa that he is in New Delhi to show the strength of the Telugu people to Sonia Gandhi.
Do you think Telangana will be formed?
I am confident that better sense will prevail over the Members of Parliament and the Telangana Bill, which is opposed to the interest of Andhra Pradesh, will be defeated.
The BJP is crucial to the bill and they appear to be supporting it.
Yes, the BJP is crucial to the fate of the bill. But Narendra Modi (BJP’s prime ministerial candidate) understands the problems of bifurcation. He has ruled a state for three terms. Being a chief minister himself he understands the concept of federal system. He realises that a federal principle is being violated and an attempt is being made to break Andhra Pradesh into bits.
Do you think the BJP will listen to you?
I am hopeful they will. I am sure they understand the pitfalls that would follow after this bifurcation. Telangana is the creation of the Congress for the sake of a vote bank. I am sure the BJP does not agree with the view and realises what would follow if Andhra Pradesh is divided.
Are you ready for a tie-up with the BJP?
Yes, I am ready for a tie-up with the BJP provided they block the Telangana Bill in Parliament. They can be assured of all support from me in the elections to follow if they do not let the bill go through. Anyone who opposes Telangana has my support.
If Telangana is formed, do you think the Congress’s gamble will work in Andhra Pradesh?
I am confident that it will not. The Congress took a hasty decision without bothering to understand the plight or feelings of the people. They have read the situation wrong and it will backfire. The Congress will not win a single seat in Seema-Andhra and it will be completely wiped out.
You supported the actions of Lagapati Rajagopal (MP who used pepper spray in Parliament) on the pepper spray incident.
I just said that the pain of the people came out in the open. However, I firmly believe that the entire incident was stage-managed by the Congress. Whatever the Congress does, they will not be able to survive in Andhra Pradesh.
Is Sonia Gandhi the root cause of the problem?
Yes, she is largely to be blamed for the problem. She has done something that even the British did not do to Andhra Pradesh. The decision taken by her and the Congress party is brutal in nature and does no one any good.
What are your views on Kiran Kumar Reddy (Andhra Pradesh CM) who appears to be standing for a united Andhra Pradesh?
He is acting as per the wishes of his high command. He has been threatening to resign, but then with the elections round the corner it hardly even matters. He is being played by the Congress.