M A I N   N E W S

28 MLAs decide to quit after YSR named in FIR
Suresh Dharur/TNS

Hyderabad, August 21
The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh appears headed for yet another crisis with 28 legislators and two MPs loyal to YSR Congress Party president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announcing their resignation today in protest against the CBI naming former Chief Minister late YS Rajasekhar Reddy as one of the accused in the illegal assets case.

In all, 26 Congress MLAs, two Telugu Desam Party (TDP) rebels and two Congress MPs, M Rajamohan Reddy and Sabbam Hari, who owe allegiance to Jagan, made the dramatic announcement.

The development came in the backdrop of the CBI raids on the properties of the Kadapa MP and on the companies that had made huge investments in his business ventures, allegedly as part of a quid quo pro for the favours they had received during 2004-09 when YSR was the Chief Minister.

The pro-Jagan MLAs and MPs said they would quit the primary membership of their parties. The decision was taken at an emergency meeting held by them in protest against the inclusion of YSR, a charismatic Congress leader who steered the Congress to power for two successive terms, in the FIR.

Jagan loyalists said they would meet the Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar tomorrow to hand over their letters of resignations.

However, there is no immediate threat to the government due to the resignations. In the 294-member Assembly, the Congress has 173 MLAs, including 18 from the actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party which has since merged with the ruling party. The Congress’ ally Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen has seven MLAs while three Independents are also supporting the ruling party.

Former Minister P Subash Chandra Bose said the Congress leaders loyal to Jagan were pained at the inclusion of YSR’s name in the FIR. “It is clearly an attempt to malign YSR and his family,” he said.

The central governing council of the YSR Congress Party would meet shortly to chalk out the future course of action. In the midst of all this political drama, Jagan continued his tour programme in Krishna district to console the family members of those who had committed suicide or died of shock following YSR’s death in a helicopter crash in September 2009.

“This government has already diluted the welfare programmes launched by YSR which were popular with the public, and now they are trying to tarnish the image of a leader who brought back the Congress to power in the state,” Subhashchandra Bose said.

According to the FIR filed by the CBI, as per the direction of the state high court, Jagan and YSR had entered into a criminal conspiracy and indulged in abuse of power by taking decisions to favour some companies and individuals and, in the process, caused huge losses to the state.

The companies in return invested crores of rupees in business enterprises owned by Jagan, including Jagathi Publications, Sandur Power Company Limited, Bharathi Cement Corporation and Carmel Asia Holdings Private Limited, the FIR said.





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