New Delhi: Nine years after the bitter break up with Congress, YSR Congress Party chief Jaganmohan Reddy on Friday said that he has forgiven the party and does not hold any vengeance.
"I will be very candid to share that I don't have any vengeance or any grievance against anybody. I have faith in God and I read Bible every day. I strongly believe that vengeance is not mine, it is for God to decide. I have forgiven them from my heart. As far as I am concerned, my state is my priority; special category status is my priority," he said while speaking to CNN-News18.
#EXCLUSIVE -- I have forgiven the Congress (@INCIndia) in my heart. I have no grievance or vengeance against anybody: @ysjagan tells CNN-News18's @maryashakil #JaganToNews18 | #BattleOf2019 #ElectionsWithNews18 pic.twitter.com/L4RlvpAWkj— News18 (@CNNnews18) April 5, 2019
Reddy had quit the Congress in 2010 over UPA's decision to split Andhra Pradesh. The rift with the high command turned bitter over time, and YSRCP chief ended up accusing the grand old party of trying to split his family. He even hinted at a conspiracy to kill his father.
He further hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Andhra Pradesh's special status. Reddy said the BJP had backtracked on the promise of Special State status.
Calling the BJP and the ruling Telugu Desam Party liars, Reddy said the Centre had betrayed the people of Andhra Pradesh.
“Andhra Pradesh was never given the special package that the Centre claims. The TDP and BJP are lying,” Reddy said. “BJP has betrayed the trust of the people of Andhra Pradesh. They never gave it a special status.”
Reddy, who is the leader of opposition in Andhra Pradesh Assembly, also dismissed both BJP and Congress’s electoral chances in the state ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. “Both Rahul and Modi are not a factor in Andhra Pradesh. Modi may have merged a strong-willed leader after the Pulwama attack, but he is no factor here,” he said, adding that “Naidu had Modi and anti-incumbency on his side, but he lied to come to power.”
Reddy also took a swipe at N Chandrababu Naidu and said the leader had lost credibility over the farm loan waiver issue. The YSR chief said that many had asked him to announce a loan waiver scheme ahead of 2014 elections, but he proceeded with caution.
“In 2014, many said I should announce a farm loan waiver. But I knew it was not feasible, and we lost the election. But TDP announced it. Today, after all that has happened, people see that I was right and my credibility is better than TDP or Chandrababu Naidu.”
Reddy said that there was a “tacit understanding” between Jana Sena Party chief, Pawan Kalyan, and the TDP. “We can see that in their ticket distribution pattern,” Reddy said. He also denied having an understanding with the BJP or K Chandrashekar Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) for the elections.
The Congress, in its manifesto, has promised to grant Special State Status to Andhra Pradesh, if elected at the Centre. Naidu’s TDP had walked out of the NDA alliance in 2018 over the Special State Status issue. The NDA government had instead offered a special package for the state. The TDP had joined hands with the Congress, but the two parties have decided to contest alone in Andhra and Telandgana in the upcoming polls.
Reddy claimed his ambition was limited to his state and said his party won’t expand beyond Andhra if they won. Andhra Pradesh will hold both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state on 11 April, with the counting of votes on May 23.