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Congress not bothered about charges of Naidu, says DS

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PCC president D. Srinivas being felicitated by City Congress president Pyla Sominaidu at the end of a Meet-the-Press in Vijayawada on Monday. MLC Ilapuram Venkaiah is also seen. —
PCC president D. Srinivas being felicitated by City Congress president Pyla Sominaidu at the end of a Meet-the-Press in Vijayawada on Monday. MLC Ilapuram Venkaiah is also seen. —

Special Correspondent

PCC chief participates in a Meet-the Press programme

VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president D. Srinivas has said he or his party are least bothered about the allegations of corruption being made by Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Participating in a ‘Meet-the-Press’ here on Monday, the APCC chief said the Congress was much too busy trying to tell people about all the wonderful projects, schemes and programmes that it was implementing, and, therefore, had no time to respond to Mr. Naidu’s allegations.

He said Mr. Naidu had toppled NTR from the post of chief minister and Telugu Desam Party president after branding him as a man who had ‘gone insane’, but was today using his name for political gain.

There was no doubt that the Rs. 2-a-kg scheme was introduced by NTR, and the Congress had no ego hassles in giving credit to the late leader. But it was not much of an achievement when it was introduced by NTR, as the price of a kg of rice in the open market then was only Rs. 2.70, which meant that the then Government had to pay a subsidy of just 70 paise.

But, today the price of a kg of rice in the open market was anywhere between Rs. 12 and Rs. 14, and the State Government was paying a subsidy of between Rs. 10 and Rs. 12 a kilo, he said.

Winning alliance

Mr. Srinivas said when he was made PCC president in 2004, he was able to forge a winning alliance with the Left parties and the TRS, which’s why he had extended an invitation to them to form an alliance again this time. The invitation was extended to them more as a courtesy than as a necessity, he maintained.

The APCC chief gave stock answers to many of the questions raised by journalists at the meeting. Asked about the highly concerted allegations of corruptions being made against the Congress Government by the Opposition parties, he maintained that corruption charges were usually made against a Government that gets things done.

Mr. Srinivas appeared impatient while replying to questions on the Telangana issue, the winning prospects of TRS and whether the results of by-elections could be considered a referendum on the demand for a separate State. He asserted that the Government’s performance could be judged only in the next general elections and not in a handful of constituencies in a by-election.

The PCC president said in reply to a question that the Congress would certainly give more importance to the Backward Classes at the time of giving tickets to party candidates for the next Assembly elections, which would be better than what it had given last time.

The party had to deny ticket to Muddaraboina Venkateswara Rao in Gannavaram last time as three Yadava candidates could not be accommodated, he said.

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