The battle within the YSR Congress Party is out in the open. After issuing a show-cause notice to a party MP, Raghu Rama Krishna Raju, YSR lawmakers led by Vijaysai Reddy reached Delhi and handed over a disqualification petition against Raju to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. The MPs allege he indulged in activities that were against his party.
Raju, however, is pretty unperturbed. He tells CNN-News18,"I have raised issues that concerned me as a citizen of the state and also as a devotee of Lord Venkateswara. I haven't made any comments against our party president and chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy. If the party goes on suspending those who speak of public issues then I really don't have much to say."
Sometime in mid-June, Raju wrote to the Lok Sabha Speaker that he was facing a threat to his life because some anti-social elements within the party were against him for raising issues including sale of Tirupati land and the terror of the sand mafia.
The MP's complaint and demand for CRPF security was sent to the union home ministry by the Speaker.
Raju was sent a show-cause notice by party's general secretary Vijaysai Reddy, He, however ,is yet to respond. "The notice has been sent to me by YSR Congress Party. That's not the party that I contested elections for. In fact, in my papers including my election certificate,the party is mentioned as Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party. Once I get the notice on the appropriate letterhead, I will respond," Raju tells CNN-News18..
Raju has written a letter to YSRCP chief and Andhra CM Jaganmohan Reddy that has been accessed by CNN-News18. Here, the MP gives a detailed account of what has transpired. He has also sought an appointment to meet the CM. Sources say that despite seeking a meeting at least twice in the last couple of months, Raju has got no audience with Reddy.
"They can do what they wish to against me, but honestly there is no case for my dismissal. I haven't done any anti-party activities. Plus, the whole matter over and above the Speaker is subject to legal scrutiny. I will fight it all the way," Raju argues
Sources say YSRCP is seeking legal opinion on the matter and is already talking to its battery of lawyers.
CNN-News18 tried on multiple occasions to contact Jaganmohan Reddy's confidante Vijaya Sai Reddy, but he hasn't responded to phone calls or queries
In fact, last Saturday, Raju met the Speaker in Delhi, explaining his case and how he had become a target of vendetta. He also met junior home minister G Kishan Reddy, who assured him his security concerns would be addressed. Raju also met home secretary Ajay Bhalla and is likely to be given additional security within a week or so after due examination of his complaint and threat to life.