Rebel leader from Kadapa, Ys Jaganmohan Reddy's estimation that Congress party would relegate to the third place in the next elections on Monday drew a sharp rejoinder from the Kiran Kumar Reddy government.
The remark obviously rankled the government to an extent that a team of Cabinet Ministers summoned a press conference to say that the Congress will fare better than expected by the former MP and that it will bounce back to power in 2014.
A Group of Ministers, headed by Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy detailed media persons at the Secretariat on Monday that various welfare schemes envisaged and launched by former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy were being implemented today to benefit the common man. Mr Raghuveera Reddy said that this will come in good stead and is bound to push the Congress party to the first position in the next elections.
Stating that right from Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy down to the last activist in the Congress party was the 'political heir' of YSR, the Minister categorically stated that they were quite confident and believed firmly that they would implement all the developmental and welfare schemes effectively to gain the confidence of the common man in the coming years.
The Minister also expressed full confidence in the performance of the government and said that this would hold the key to win the voters' confidence. He added that this would ultimately be the voters' judgement in their favour in the next elections.
Ruling out any mid-term elections as being predicted currently, Mr Raghuveera Reddy posed as to how far it was justifiable to place Congress party in the third position in the next elections.
Admitting that there could be some lapses in the government, Mr Raghuveera Reddy sought to hear from Mr Jaganmohan Reddy any corrective steps that the government should take. He urged the Kadapa leader to offer his suggestions so that the government would affect these 'corrections' and the beneficiaries would receive the fruits of the welfare programmes which were started by his father YSR. "We are ready to accept any corrective measures," he said.
Further stating that so far, two crore ration cards have been issued, 70 lakh pensions sanctioned, 30 lakh farmers received free power supply and nearly two crore people depended on sustenance provided by the government schemes, the Minister appealed to Mr Jaganmohan Reddy to strengthen the government's hands and support his father's welfare schemes for the benefit of the poor.
"That will be the real tribute that we or he could pay to YSR," said the Minister.
Commenting on first or second position, he was of the opinion that this 'assessment' must be made after the notification of the elections is issued and not now. Now the need of the hour was to facilitate implementation of the schemes with full vigour.
A new trend has started recently and the voters started 'evaluating' who did what and on performance linked governance, the Minister said. "A positive voting is assured based on the performance of a 'party'," Mr Raghuveera Reddy maintained.
"We have full confidence in that," he said and added that YSR's schemes and their implementation would stand by the KKR government who will rule till 2014.
Information and Public Relations Minister DK Aruna and Legislative Affairs Minister D Sreedhar Babu were also present.