In a jolt to former Congress MP Jagan Mohan Reddy, his uncle and MLC Y S Vivekananda Reddy today said he will remain a Congressman forever and that he is ready to contest the bypolls for the seats vacated by Jagan and his mother.
“I will remain a Congressman till my last breath. I am a loyal and disciplined Congress worker,” he told reporters here.
Strongly condemning the allegation made by Mr. Jagan in his letter to AICC president Sonia Gandhi that the Congress high command tried to engineer a split in the family by offering him a cabinet berth, Mr. Vivekananda Reddy made it clear that he went to Delhi and sought audience with Ms. Gandhi on his own.
Mr. Vivekananda Reddy’s assertion came after a brief meeting he had with Mr. Jagan at the family estate at Idupulapaya in Kadapa district earlier in the day.
The meeting was reportedly held at the behest of some family members who wanted to broker peace between Mr. Jagan and his uncle in the wake of the bad blood between the two.
The meeting is understood to have ended with bitterness as Mr. Jagan was angry with his uncle’s comments that he would make Mr. Jagan express regret for his criticism against Ms. Gandhi.
Mr. Vivekananda Reddy disclosed that he had a lengthy meeting with Ms. Gandhi in Delhi during which he got clarifications on many issues.
Mr. Reddy also said he met party leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Veerppa Moily and Ahmed Patel in New Delhi on his own.
Showering praise on Ms. Sonia, he said the Congress high command has never tried to split the YS family and that there is no need for them to do so.
“If aspiring for a Cabinet berth is my mistake, I seek apology,” he said, adding that he will remain a Congress worker if the party does not make him a minister.
Praising Ms. Gandhi for sacrificing the post of Prime Minister, he said she is a great leader like Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa.
To a query, he said he will have all the love for Mr. Jagan as his brother’s son but will continue in Congress.
Mr. Vivekananda Reddy said he wanted to take Mr. Jagan to Ms. Gandhi to bridge the differences but, unfortunately, Mr. Jagan chose to resign.
Asked about reports of Mr. Jagan launching a new party, he said, “You better ask him.”
Mr. Vivekananda Reddy’s assertion that he will remain loyal to the party is seen a setback to Mr. Jagan as the latter enjoys respect and love of people in Kadapa district, particularly in Pulivendula assembly segment which is a family bastion.
Meanwhile, a day after their resignation from the primary membership of Congress, Mr. Jagan, his mother Vijaylakshmi and other family members offered homage to late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy at his Samadhi at Idupulapaya estate.
Some Congress MLAs, loyal to Mr. Jagan, like P Srikant Reddy and Adinarayana Reddy, and Nellore Congress MP M Rajamohan Reddy were present on the occasion.