'People will see how arrogant, overambitious Jagan is'
On Sunday, YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy found himself cooling his heels in the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation after three days of intense grilling.
Many in the YSR Congress feel that their leader's arrest will create a sympathy wave in the forthcoming bye-election. However, Jagan's former party colleagues say that the sympathy factor would be temporary and that it is only a matter of time before they realise that Jagan was nothing but a youth who was overly arrogant, impatient and a man who staked a claim for the post of Andhra Pradesh chief minister even before his father was cremated.
In an interview with rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa, senior Andhra Pradesh Congress leader Madhu Yaskhi, who has been battling for the cause of Telangana, speaks in great detail about how Jagan's arrest could affect his political fortunes in the time to come.
How do you see the political future of the YSR Congress in the wake of this arrest?
Initially, they are sure to get a lot of sympathy. Vijayamma will play the husband and son card a great deal and could benefit too. However, in the long run, the people will realise that Jagan is no Mahatma Gandhi.
He does not have an image of a person fighting corruption. He has been arrested on very serious charges which include a lot of financial crimes.
He does not have an image, which fights for against corruption or for the poor. He will be seen as a youth who was overly arrogant, overambitious a man with no patience and a son who did not even wait for his father to be cremated before seeking the post of chief minister.
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Image: YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy
'When compared to 2009 Jagan is nothing today'
Do you think his image will take a beating now that he has been arrested?
Yes it will. The people will realise how corrupt he was. He used to dictate terms, but now with his arrest all that will go down the drain.
Look at the case of Gali Janardhan Reddy, who was so arrogant and powerful. He had the support of 30 MLAs and dictated terms to the BJP. Look what happened to him after his arrest.
Did his MLAs stand by him? The same would happen to Jagan.
But can you compare Jagan to Gali?
It's not a comparison, but Jagan's support would dwindle. The cases are sure to get to him soon.
There has been talk that he is becoming stronger each day. When he first staked a claim to become the chief minister, there were 27 MPs and 150 MLAs who signed up in his support. Today, there are two MPs and 18 MLAs who are behind him.
How is that becoming stronger? He has become weaker and when compared to 2009 he is nothing today.
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'Vijayamma is using cheap tactics to get her way through'
Vivekananda Reddy (brother of YSR) stayed on in the Congress, but three days back expressed support to the YSR family. What are your thoughts on the same?
I knew Vivekananda Reddy was being played by Jagan. It was a strategy that they had played against the Congress. It is a very close knit family and Vivekananda Reddy was always ready to do anything for the late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.
Had YSR told him to die, he would have. Why would such a person revolt against his own family? Jagan ensured that Vivekananda stayed away from him in the open so that he could blame the Congress for dividing the family in order to seek emotional support.
Vivekananda Reddy remained in the Congress at the behest of Jagan and constantly fed him with information. The Congress made a blunder by fielding him as their candidate. It was expected that he may walk away with the sympathy after his brother's death.
But in politics it is always the immediate family (the wife and children) who walk away with the sympathy vote.
Yesterday Vijayamma made a scathing remark against Congress president Sonia Gandhi. She sought answers and also indicated that she sees a conspiracy behind her husband's death. Your thoughts on this...
It is rubbish. The same Sakshi channel, which is run by Jagan, quoting a Russian website had run stories for several hours on how Mukesh Ambani was behind YSR's death. Reliance outlets were ransacked in Hyderabad. Today, they are singing a different song. This is the most heinous way of getting political benefit.
We had a great deal of respect for Vijayamma, but she is using cheap tactics to get her way through. Sonia's family sacrificed their lives for the nation. YSR died in an accident. There cannot be any comparison whatsoever about what the respective families have sacrificed.
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Image: Late YSR's wife Vijayamma with her daughter
'Jagan has a lot to explain'
Do you think Jagan will come out of this mess?
It looks difficult. The money involved in the scam is obscene. The CBI has a very strong case on its hand. Jagan has a lot to explain. He will need to explain how he managed to start a publication with Rs 2,400 crore. No media has this kind of money. He had tried to get out of it. He went to the courts repeatedly, but all his pleas were rejected.
There is talk that the CBI is being controlled by the Congress...
This is wrong. Where is the Congress in the picture here? You mean to say that the Congress is even controlling the Supreme Court and has influenced the judiciary over and over again?
The Congress has been facing the problem of defection into the YSR Congress party. Will this stop now?
There were around 25 people from the Congress who were always with him. These people intentionally stayed back in the Congress. The likes of MLA Alla Nani and others always had loyalties to Jagan and I had told my chief minister about it, but he did not believe me.
Take the case of Mysura Reddy. He is politically unemployed and even his parent party, the TDP, did not give him a ticket. Today, he is with Jagan despite giving such long speeches in Parliament about how Jagan had indulged in corrupt practises.
In fact, these were just games being played by Jagan. We always knew that these people would cross over. But now that will stop and there will be no more defections.
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'Jagan being in Congress won't have changed his fate'
Had Jagan remained in the Congress, would he have had to face this CBI probe?
For sure! Even at the cost of the survival of the government in the Centre, DMK leaders Kanimozhi and Raja went to jail.
In this case, it is the court which has taken cognisance of the matter.
Look at the case and the evidence on hand. I do agree that no party will suo motu act against its own members, but the Congress has not stopped even a bit when it came to action based on proof.
Adarsh, CWG and the 2G -- just to name a few; the Congress has always acted against its own members and coalition partners.
It is unfair to say that the Congress would have turned a blind eye had Jagan been in the party.
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