VIJAYAWADA: The internal bickering in the ruling YSRC took a serious turn on Monday with party MP from Narsapuram K Raghurama Krishna Raju launching a broadside against the party and its MLA from Narsapuram M Prasad Raju for the latter’s remarks against him.
Raghurama Krishna Raju said some leaders are behind the MLA’s remarks against him and alleged the party instigates leaders of the same community to target a particular leader, and this was done in his case too.
He said the party should not divide leaders on the basis of caste, and added that though Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy may not be aware of the developments in the party, he is surrounded by people playing caste politics.
Raghurama Krishna Raju further said he joined the YSRC as the party leadership literally begged him in order to better its prospects in Narsapuram, a bastion of the TDP in West Godavari district.
Of late, Raghurama Krishna Raju has been critical of the diversion of sand, leaders collecting money from would-be beneficiaries of the proposed Jagananna housesites scheme, and lapses in the identification and purchase of land for distribution under the scheme. “I raised these issues as they are related to the people,” he said, adding that he tried to discuss these issues with the CM but was not given an appointment.
Following this, Narsapuram MLA Prasad Raju condemned the MP’s comments, saying Jagan is available to meet all leaders and MPs and MLAs meet him and hand over cheques for the CMRF to fight Covid-19.
He went on to say Raghurama Krishna Raju became an MP only because of Jagan and was given a party ticket even though he joined just 25 days before the elections.
The MLA also said the MP was made chairman of the Subordinate Legislation Committee in the Lok Sabha only because of Jagan.
This triggered a sharp rebuttal from Raghurama Krishna Raju, who said the YSRC has a “strange ideology” wherein a person of a particular caste is fielded to make remarks against someone else of the same caste.
“If the party wants to criticise (Jana Sena leader) Pawan Kalyan, they will pitch an MLA or leader from the same community. If they want to criticise a BC leader, they will pitch a BC leader against him. In my case too, the party pitched my close friend and Narsapuram MLA Prasad Raju against me,” the MP said.
Taking further potshots at the YSRC, Raghurama Krishna Raju said Prasad Raju, in all likelihood, will be made a minister soon. “Even I want to see my dear friend as a minister. I think the party issued a diktat to him to criticise me, and he will be rewarded for that,” he said.
Giving a point-to-point rebuttal of Prasad Raju’s remarks, Raghurama Krishna Raju said he never asked the party to take him into its fold or sought a party ticket. “It was the party leadership that welcomed me. They literally begged me to join. They said the YSRC would not win in Narsapuram even if wrests all other seats in the state. Fortunately or unfortunately, I joined the party, but I reiterate that it was the party that pleaded with me to join,” he asserted, adding that the party could win the MP seat only because he contested. “It’s not that we won just because of Jagan,” he alleged.
On his appointment as chairman of the Subordinate Legislation Committee in the Lok Sabha, he said that though the party is entitled to one such post and he sought for his name to be recommended, he did not get it.
“It was mandatory for an MP from the Lok Sabha to be recommended for the post, but violating the Business Rules, the party nominated V Vijayasai Reddy, who is a Rajya Sabha member, and the Centre accepted the CM’s request,” he said. He, however, added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on seeing his performance in Parliament, appointed him as chairman of the committee.
Further, Raghurama Krishna Raju said some leaders are forcibly collecting funds in the name of contribution to the CMRF.
“Some of the cash collected is being diverted and leaders are posing for photos with the CM with the money collected from others,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, YSRC spokesperson Ambati Rambabu made light of the remarks at a press meet and said the MP is habituated to making such comments.
Sources said the party might issue a show cause notice to the MP seeking an explanation for his comments.