Former Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Tuesday stated that despite having the power to pull the rug from the N Kiran Kumar Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh, he would stick to his promise and not do so.
Addressing the huge crowd of supporters and farmers from the state who had joined him on his 24-hour ‘Jal Deeksha’, the hunger strike launched by him to highlight the adverse impact of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal Award on the sharing of waters of the River Krishna, Mr Jaganmohan Reddy described himself as a ‘gentleman who keeps his word’.
He said that he could have collapsed the Congress government ‘a long time ago by asking the MLAs to resign, but did not do so.’ He added that, “My peoples are very clear that they would contest on my party’s ticket in 2014 and not on Congress ticket.
Mr Jaganmohan Reddy added that the reason behind the Jal Deeksha was to highlight the adverse verdict given by the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal so that the Centre may take corrective measures and mitigate the injustice done to Andhra Pradesh by the Award, plight of the farmers who suffered heavily due to cyclones, untimely rains and floods over the last one year.
He demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh intervenes to do justice to Andhra Pradesh, give a National Project status to Polavaram Irrigation Project, Chevella-Pranahita, besides Uttara Andhra Sujala Sravanti, Devadula, Kamtalapalli Lift Irrigation and Yellampally Projects.
Despite the state Congress leadership’s best attempts to downplay the impact of former Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy leaving the party, the number of party Legislators who have defied party diktat and have stood shoulder to shoulder with the former MP at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Tuesday is a grim pointer that he is emerging as a formidable foe and an emerging star on the Andhra Pradesh political horizon.
The 24-hour ‘Jal Deeksha’ drew around 30 serving Legislators, a majority of them from the ruling Congress party, and a host of former Legislators, apart from ZPTC chairmen and leaders.
The ‘Jal Deeksha’ follows the Lakshya Deeksha which was organised in Krishna district which drew as many as five lakh people, including farmers and political leaders. The slogan coined for the fast was ‘Farmers’ right, our fight’.
The huge turnout, which included as many as 24 Congress MLAs and three MLCs, besides Praja Rajyam Party MLAs Shoba Naga Reddy and K Rama Reddy and Telugu Desam Party’s B Naga Reddy and Prassanna Kumar, came despite the Congress’ best attempt to rein in the Legislators.
The presence of the Legislators is seen as a curtain raiser of things to come when the Kadapa leader finally announces his political outfit, most likely around mid-March.