No change in Babu: Dadi
Dadi Veerabhadra Rao, who has just left Telugu Desam Party and joined the YSR Congress Party, debunked the...
Dadi Veerabhadra Rao, who has just left Telugu Desam Party and joined the YSR Congress Party, debunked the claim of TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu that he was a changed man and that he would correct his earlier policies to benefit the farmers and backward classes if people voted him back to power. In an exclusive interview with K Ramachandra Murthy, Editor-in-Chief of The Hans India and HMTV on Monday, he said Chandrababu still harbours the belief that he was always right and the people committed a mistake by defeating him in two consecutive general elections. During his extensive padayatra, he never tried to elicit from the people the reasons behind their decision to vote against Telugu Desam Party. Instead, he devoted his whole time to harangue the people on the failures of Kiran Kumar Reddy government and on the alleged corruption of Y S Rajasekhar Reddy government and Jaganmohan Reddy, he said. Veerabhadra Rao said the immediate provocation for leaving the party might be denial of Legislative Council ticket, but the reason was the 'accumulated dissatisfaction'. He said he never aspired for the Council ticket but was peeved over the way Chandrababu Naidu treated him while denying him a ticket. "He kept me in dark until the last minute. He made me wait outside his room for four hours before telling his decision to deny me ticket," he added. Veerabhadra Rao said Chandrababu Naidu always used him to his advantage but never gave him any ministerial berth. "Contrary to his claims, during his nine years tenure as Chief Minister, he kept me out of the cabinet. NTR alone gave me ministerial berth twice," he said. "Chandrababu requested me to speak in Assembly as the main speaker to defend his government when it was under attack from the opposition led by Rajasekhar Reddy immediately after the Basheerbagh firing on power crisis. I defended the government and punctured opposition arguments. Then Chandrababu appreciated my performance and promised to take me in to cabinet which he never did," he said. Veerabhadra Rao said in contrast, Y S Rajasekhar Reddy hugged him and appreciated his speech in the Assembly. "He jocularly told me to demand ministerial berth," he added. On his differences with YSRCP leader Konathala Ramakrishna at local level in Anakapalli, he said he did not have any enmity with him in business. The differences were political as they belonged to different political parties. He did not join the party for any positions and he would abide by the decision of Jaganmohan Reddy. Veerabhadra Rao said he was impressed by Jaganmohan Reddy's way of dealing with issues when he met him in Chanchalguda jail before joining the party. He said asked him about his policies and he explained his stand on various issues. Veerabhadra Rao said, "Jagan was very soft and forthright. He said congress sent feelers that if he did not move no- confidence in the last Assembly session, they would go slow on his cases. If he persists with his opposition, he would be sent to Tihar Jail. Jagan said they kept him in jail for eleven months and Chanchalguda Jail or Tihar jail would not make much of a difference." "It would have been better had Chandrababu Naidu supported the no -confidence motion in the last session and brought down the government. The central government might have brought pressure on him also." He said contrary to his reputation, Jagan was soft spoken and determined to work for the welfare of the people overcoming all odds. He said he was convinced that he would never merge his party with the Congress. He said he never asked him anything and just told him that he was putting his son Ratnakar in his hands. "Jagan told me that he would look after his interests. He said his family members were not interested in politics. "Ten years back I went to Satyasai Baba and asked his permission to retire from politics. He said I should continue in politics. He told my family members that he was there to look after their interests. My whole family was in tears. That is why I am continuing in politics. That is why I want my son Ratnakar to continue my legacy of public service," he said. Veerabhadra Rao said he joined YSR Congress Party because he was active in anti-Congress politics all his life. He expressed the confidence that as in Tamilnadu, two regional parties, YSRCP and TDP would dominate the Andhra Pradesh politics making Congress irrelevant.