Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, said here on Friday that he would remain a committed soldier of the Congress and abide by AICC president Sonia Gandhi’s instructions whether or not he was given any position of power.
He also declared unequivocally that he would extend his support to Mr. K. Rosaiah or any other Congress leader chosen to occupy the post of Chief Minister. His priority was to fulfil his father’s desire to ensure the Congress party’s victory in 41 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh and see that Mr. Rahul Gandhi became Prime Minister in 2014.
A day after his crucial meeting with Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the Kadapa MP addressed a press conference at YSR’s residence on Friday noon, flanked by at least nine Ministers and over two dozen party MLAs essentially to clarify ‘different versions’ appearing in the media about his interaction with the Congress president. Referring to the statement of some party MPs on the issue, he said, “It is not gentlemanly to reveal what transpired between the party president and me. I have full faith in her”.
Significantly, although Mr. Jagan explicitly announced his resolve to fall in line, he said he would pursue the government to implement YSR’s election pledge to increase the rice quota for the poor from 20 kg to 30 kg a month and supply free power to farmers for nine hours a day against seven hours now. In this connection, he observed that the ongoing survey to identify eligible families for pensions, house sites and ration cards was only delaying passing on these benefits to the poor.
“We will ensure that all the benefits are received by eligible people, whoever is the Chief Minister,” he said. He declined to give his assessment of the Rosaiah government’s performance saying it was “a controversial question and it is not good to rate somebody”.
Mr. Jagan, at the outset, underscored that in the seven weeks since his father’s death, had never sought any post. “I am just 36 and yet Ministers and MLAs have shown respect to me. It is not important to get the CM’s post as it will come one day with the people’s blessings. In the coming days, we will work harder, go close to the people and get everybody’s appreciation”, he added.
When reminded that several Ministers and MLAs wanted him to be made Chief Minister and some had even refused to work under Mr. Rosaiah, he found nothing wrong with it. His father had left behind an incomplete task and it was the duty of any son to bring the mission to its logical end. “And, if, God-willing, you get an opportunity to complete it, will you not ask for it”, he said.
The Kadapa MP said Ms. Gandhi spoke to him for one hour and was fully aware of the political situation in Andhra Pradesh. “She will take the right decision at the right time. As a disciplined soldier, it is my duty to support her”.