Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and YSR Congress Party president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday said his party would support the candidate proposed by the BJP as the next President.
Addressing the media after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Jagan said when it was evident that the Opposition had no chance of its getting its nominee elected as President, it was not proper to go for a contest.
Mr. Jagan’s statement assumes significance as the term of Pranab Mukherjee is due to end on July 25.
The YSR Congress chief maintained that though the Congress had ‘conspired’ and put him in jail, his party supported the candidature of Mr. Mukherjee.
Mr. Jagan submitted a memorandum to Mr. Modi complaining about the alleged inducements being resorted to by Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu to engineer defections from rival parties.
“Defections are against the democratic spirit, and accommodating some of them in the Cabinet is far worse and this was stressed during the meeting with the Prime Minister. We had taken up the same issue with the President and leaders of political parties and this visit is part of the Save Democracy campaign,” he said.
Mr. Jagan said, “We also sought a CBI inquiry into the AgriGold scam in which TDP leaders and Ministers, including the Chief Minister’s son Nara Lokesh, are said to be involved.”
While the Centre’s gesture to chilli farmers of paying Rs. 5,000 per quintal was welcome, it would be fair if the State government also contributed Rs. 3,000 per quintal as its share.
Call to State
As the State was not coming forward, the Centre should bear the entire burden. The State should at least now set up Market Stabilisation Fund, he demanded.
“We also asked the PM to reconsider the issue of Special Category Status (SCS) as promised during the State’s division and we will continue our fight on the issue. We cannot ignore SCS as A.P. cannot compete with other States unless the status is accorded,” said the Leader of the Opposition.
SCS was in the BJP’s election manifesto and the commitment should be honoured.
“We will try to mount pressure on the Prime Minister as he is the only person who can accord SCS to the State,” he said.