Jogaiah letter leaves PR red-faced

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Harirama Jogaiah
Harirama Jogaiah

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The Praja Rajyam found itself red-faced on Tuesday when a ‘soul-searching’ letter written by its senior leader Ch. Harirama Jogaiah to party president K. Chiranjeevi found its way into the front page of a Telugu daily.

The septuagenarian leader had faxed a two-page letter to Mr. Chiranjeevi raising over a dozen doubts, in a rather anguished tone, about the future of the party. The questions ranged from gauging the party position in the public eye to its final goal and how to achieve it.

What really embarrassed the leadership was Mr. Jogaiah himself raising a question that other parties were asking -- “whether the people are turning up for Chiranjeevi’s road shows just for a glimpse of the megastar or whether they would all really vote for PR party”. He also wondered if people were giving a thought to the social justice and anti-corruption agenda of PR.

At a press conference here, Mr. Jogaiah laboured to justify his letter and lashed out at the newspaper for distorting its contents. He had so far written 100 letters offering advice on various issues to Mr. Chiranjeevi. The letter did not contain criticism but only suggestions from a senior leader to a party president. Moreover, Mr. Chiranjeevi considered him to be a father figure.

Alleging that his fax line was tapped, the former Congress MP demanded an enquiry by the CBI into how the letter had leaked. As an indirect warning to the Congress party, PR leader Tammineni Seetaram said, “History has shown that governments have fallen with similar controversies.” He recalled how the Telugu Desam and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti had in recent times accused the government of tapping their phones. Such ‘irresponsible’ acts were not good in a progressive democracy, he said.

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