Will never join hands with the BJP, Cong: Jagan
A day after the arrest of mining baron Janardhana Reddy by the Central Bureau of Investigation for illegal mining activities in Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress Chief and son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy, Jaganmohan Reddy is said to be next in the line of fire of the CBI investigation.
In an Exclusive interview to CNN-IBN's Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, he clears his stand on his relations with the Reddy brothers and political liaisons with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
On being next to be arrested by CBI
"There should be clarity on the Janardhana Reddy issue. He happens to be from the BJP. I was a real Congress man, now I've my own party, the YSR Congress. Please do not try to bring both together. If you have any question on the Reddys, you should ask to the BJP or the Karnataka government."
On YSR favouring Reddy brothers
"It was Telugu Desam President Chandrababu Naidu who gave Janardhana Reddy the extension of mines, not my father. Our district is a backward district.
So the steel plant by Janardhana Reddy would give employment directly to 10,000 people. Had my father not persuaded him to come to my district, then he would have set it up in his home district of Bellary."
"He was asked to come to our district as that would prosper our district in terms of giving employment to my own people."Click NEXT to read further...
Image: YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy
'Why do you want to bring a dead man into the picture?'
On mining lease to Reddys by YSR
"Why do you want to bring a dead man into the picture? The CM does not supervise the borders. Many agencies including the forest department which is under the Centre monitors the borders. A CM does not look after the mining activities along the borders."
"My father campaigned against Bellary brothers. My father went and campaigned for the Congress party there."
On favours to corporate Houses
"For nine years Chandrababu Naidu was the CM. He gave the ports: be it Kakinada or Gangavaram. He gave the land to the EMAAR, IMG etc.
For nine years he followed a certain procedure. My father followed what Chandrababu Naidu had done for nine years. If Naidu was right, then why to point a finger at my father?
"A violation must be established. If I've done a favour, that should be an out of the way favour. I was not in politics and nobody can point a finger at me.
I've never visited the secretariat or made a phone call to any minister. There should be a rule in place and that rule should have been grossly violated to do a favour to somebody. Then you can say that somebody has benefited."
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Image: Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy
'I didn't become rich overnight'
"It was not overnight. The 2003-04 figure is not right. In 2001, we took over a hydropower company that worth Rs 140 crore. That was before my father became the CM.
That project was funded by five banks. That project was commissioned after six months of my father becoming the CM."
"Similarly, in 2009, while I filed my affidavit to contest the elections, I had certain amount of shares in Bharati Cements. In 2010, I sold majority of the stake. That was bought at a certain valuation, and because of that it seems my assets have increased.
But actually my assets have come down. They are talking about three companies. If it was quid pro quo, then why is it that the other investors in Bharati Cements are not being investigated."
"I absolutely deny the sale of shares on premiums. My paper (Sakshi) is a highly-circulated daily. Few months ago a lot of people invested in it to make money."
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Image: Telugu Desam President Chandrababu Naidu
'My respect for Sushmaji has gone up substantially'
On supporting the BJP
"I've not yet met Sushma Swaraj and I would be meeting her depending on an appointment. I've enough respect for her. The Congress, which my father served more than 30 years, after his death, is tainting him.
On the other hand, the BJP who fought with my father for years has opening come out against the injustice being done. Personally, my respect for Sushmaji has gone up substantially.
But as a party, they have different ideology. We would never tie up with the BJP."
On joining the BJP in 2014
"Absolutely not. I'm giving a word to the entire community that we would never tie up with the BJP at any juncture: pre-poll or post-poll."
On returning to the Congress
"In Andhra Pradesh, the Congress is ruling, and we are in the Opposition. If we are blessed with numbers, then we will be part of the United Progressive Alliance government. But our main interest remains in the state. Anybody other than the BJP is acceptable to us."
"Going back to the Congress is not an option. We are fighting a battle head on in Andhra Pradesh. If we get numbers, anybody other than the BJP is acceptable to us who protects the interest of our state."
Image: Leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj