HYDERABAD: After an unexciting start, the ongoing session of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly during its third day sitting on Tuesday witnessed a high-decibel verbal duel between chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and leader of the opposition and YSRC chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
Tempers ran high when they traded charges and tried to describe each other as the most corrupt leader during a slanging match that lasted for over 45 minutes.
When a war of words broke out between the duo on the issue of corruption, Naidu claimed that his 30-year-long political career had been spotless.
Reacting to a remark made by Jagan that Naidu is in the chief minister’s chair because of sheer luck, the chief minister replied, “I am here not because of luck, but because of hard work and impeccable record as a honest politician during my 30-year-long political career.”
Then rejecting Naidu’s claims, Jagan wanted to know how Naidu had developed his business empire from a humble beginning.
Naidu said it was he who moved a no-confidence motion against former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy on corruption charges and brought out a book titled “Raja of Corruption” against him.
“In my 30-year-long public life I have never indulged in any sort of corruption nor allowed others to indulge in it,” Naidu claimed.
Stating that he had nothing to fear, Naidu said since he had done nothing wrong he had nothing to hide or fear.
Jagan, who was being targeted by TDP members on corruption allegations, too hurled some bitter remarks at Naidu and described the latter as the most corrupt politician of the country.
“It’s very interesting to note that how Naidu, who everyone knows is corrupt, so easily could pretend that he is one of the most honest persons of the country. He roams in private jet planes and yet claims to be simple,” Jagan said.
The YSRC chief said even Naidu’s father-in-law and TDP founder NT Rama Rao had described Naidu as the most corrupt person. Even the Left parties and the BJP had earlier published books on the corrupt regime of Naidu, when he was chief minister of erstwhile united AP.
“He is very fortunate that a corruption case filed against him was rejected on technical grounds. Otherwise, his fate would have been different,” Jagan said.
Accusing Naidu of amassing wealth through corrupt means, the YSRC chief asked Naidu to explain to the people of the state how his wealth had grown from a meagre two acres of land in 1979 to setting up Heritage company now.
“I will expose Naidu in the coming days, how he is planning to award the contract of construction of the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation project to a private company with an excess estimation,” he threatened.
Terming the corruption cases filed against him as politically motivated, Jagan said all the cases were filed after he had left the Congress. “Naidu and the Congress at that time had colluded against me and filed cases against me,” he claimed.
Stating that all cases framed against him were politically motivated, Jagan claimed that he would come out clean. “Just because cases have been filed against me does not mean that I am a corrupt leader,” he said.
Taking exception to some of the the TDP members’ allegation that he was meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to request them to lift all corruption charges against him, Jagan said he had met them to request them to help the State and not for personal purpose.
“Have Prime Minister and Union Ministers told Naidu what I spoke to them? As they are your partners in the government, ask them to hold a press conference and reveal the details of the one-on-one meetings I held with them,” he said.
As Jagan was attacking Naidu, TDP MLA D Narendra Kumar started targeting Jagan and accused Jagan and his late father YS Rajasekhara Reddy of indulging in corruption. “YSR had probed cases against our leader (Naidu). What happened to them? YSR was Chief Minister for six years. Why had he not investigated corruption cases against Naidu, if your argument is really true,” he asked Jagan.
Earlier, Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu alleged that Jagan met Modi and Rajnath to keep himself safe in his disproportionate assets cases and trials.