Jagan stages show of strength, taunts Cong

Former Congress party lawmaker Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy sits in the backdrop of a portrait of his father YSR Reddy during a day-long fast to protest against alleged injustice to farmers from Andhra Pradesh state, in New Delhi, January 11.  (AP Photo)
NEW Delhi, January 11 (PTI): Former MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, who staged a show of strength here on Tuesday, virtually dared the Congress to take action against its MLAs and MPs who are with him saying the Kiran Kumar Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh will fall if they withdraw support to it. He taunted the Congress saying he is doing a favour to his former party by not asking his supporters to withdraw support to the Reddy government.
Jagan, who staged a day-long fast along with his supporters here that included two Congress MPs--Sabbam Hari and Rajmohan Reddy--and 20 MLAs to protest the “injustice” meted out to Andhra Pradesh in the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal award, said “currently I am doing a favour to the Congress party because if my MLAs resign, the government there will fall. However, Congress sought dismiss his claim as an “illusion” and that the Reddy government was never and would never face any danger. “Congress government in Andhra Pradesh was never under any threat, is not not under any threat and would never be. If any person has any illusions at all, they will be demystified soon,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.
Jagan told reporters at his fast site “Had I wanted, I could have done it a long time ago. I am a gentleman. So I am doing a favour to the Congress party.” He said he has asked his supporters to continue to be in Congress. “Congress can do so if it wants to take action (party MPs and MLAs). My people are very categorically saying that they have nothing to do with the party and they are still there (in Congress) because I am only asking them to so. “They have also been saying that in 2014, they would be contesting elections on my party ticket and not Congress’ ticket. They are very clearly exhibiting that if they are in Congress, they are doing a favour to Congress party,” Jagan said.
Prefacing his speech in the midst of the protest fast with remarks that he was not here to criticise anybody, Jagan attacked the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KDWT) of favouring Karnataka, from where Law Minister Veerappa Moily hailed. Moily is in charge of Congress affairs of Andhra Pradesh, he noted. Jagan, who has applied for registration of a new political party, today categorically said that he will have no truck with BJP as he would not like to align with a political party doing politics of religion. Jagan, however, refused to comment on the the report of the Srikrishna Commission that went into the issue of separate statehood of Telangana and gave six suggestions saying he did not want to dilute the topic today.
Asked whether he will contest elections in 2014 Assembly elections in the state, his cryptic answer was “I will be contesting elections to Parliament.” Leaders from other political parties in Andhra Pradesh were also present at the dharna site. Two MLAs from film-star turned politician Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party (PRP--Shoba Naga Reddy and K Rama Reddy, and TDP’s Bal Naga Reddy and Prassana Kumar Reddy, also attended the fast, which coined the slogan ‘farmers’ right, Andhra Pradesh fight’ and ‘our water our right’. The former Congress MP from Kadapa, who had resigned from the party in November last, arrived here late night by a special train along with his supporters and farmers.
The 38-year-old son of former AP chief minister late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy had quit Congress on November 29, 2010 alleging “humiliation” by the party High Command. The objective of the fast is to highlight farmers’ plight, who suffered heavily due to cyclones, untimely rains and floods over the last one year and possible adverse impact of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal on the state. Jagan had last month held a 48-hour fast at Vijayawada demanding hike in compensation announced by the government for the rain-hit farmers. Political parties in Andhra Pradesh are not happy with the Krishna Tribunal Award and claim that state will now have to be at the mercy of upper riparian state Karnataka. They had said the award was a “big blow” as Andhra Pradesh has lost “total right” over utilisation of surplus water.
Jagan’s party registration soon: EC

New Delhi, January 11 (Agencies):
The process of registration of former Congress MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy’s yet-to-be-launched political party is likely to be set in motion soon by the Election Commission which will write to him to complete certain formalities. The EC will write to Jagan within a week to publish advertisements in newspapers and invite from people objections, if any, to name his political party as ‘YSR Party’ (named after his late father), sources said.
Y V Subba Reddy, a close relative of Jagan, had last week filed an application before the Commission seeking registration of the new party. Jagan, who had revolted against the Congress leadership and left the party, had last week said he intends to seek re-election from Kadapa Lok Sabha seat and was not keen on destabilising the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh. He said he has fast-tracked the process to register and launch his political party before the bye-elections for Kadapa and Pulivendula assembly constituencies are announced. The former MP went on a day-long fast here today in a virtual show of strength and dared Congress to take action against its MLAs and MPs who are with him. Jagan observed the fast along with his supporters here that included two Congress MPs--Sabbam Hari and Rajmohan Reddy --and 20 MLAs.