Highlights: YS Jagan At India Today Conclave

Your father helped Congress get back to power with his padayatra, do you see that happening too?

YSJ: I don't know. But one thing I do know is that my padayatra gave people a sense of hope. They had someone listening to them, understanding their problems and their plight on a daily basis. I raised many of these issues which plagued people across the state forcing the government to act on some of them. I have a dream of serving the people. One thing I can say about the walkathon is that being amidst people constantly for fourteen months transforms you. It strengthens your resolve to serve the masses.

Political journey after father's demise

I have stayed amidst people for nine years and during my padayatra, I could get an insight into micro-level problems. When you see the struggles of people, you feel blessed for all that you have in life.

How will YSRCP be different?

YSJ: Most problems are man-made. People need credible governance and Chandrababu Naidu's credibility score is zero as his rule is synonymous with lies and deception. In 2014, Chandrababu knew that Rs 87,612 crores farm loans couldn't be waived, yet he made a false promise asking them not to repay their loans, putting them in a difficult situation later.

TDP government has not given them any remunerative prices. YSRCP will do things in saturation mode so that every person is benefited by its schemes. The question that is asked to beneficiaries of schemes under the present government is which party they are from. YSRCP will not differentiate between people.

It will set up village secretariats to deal with local problems. Our governance will be based on Navaratnalu and all problems relating to all sections of people will be resolved using these schemes.


What will be your role in National politics in 2019, in terms of your equation with Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi?


YSJ: Andhra Pradesh has received a raw deal and has been betrayed by both the parties. If the Parliament gives its word and does not keep it, then what can you say in a democracy? My state was bifurcated against the wishes of people. At that time, all the parties came together, promised Special Category Status and carried out bifurcation behind closed doors. The telecast was blacked out.


Are AP political parties using SCS as a pressure point for political mileage?


YSJ: Did the Centre not know the problems of states such as Chattisgarh, Odisha and others at the time of bifurcation of the state. However, in AP's case there was the pre-condition of SCS before bifurcation which we thought would be honoured.

On one side, there is Modi-led NDA and the Mahagathbandhan on the other side. So where does YS Jagan stand?

YSJ: We will remain neutral. Only Special Category Status is important for us. Give us SCS, we will support you. It doesn't matter who becomes the PM.

Does it mean you want a majboor (helpless) sarkar not a mazboot (strong) sarkar?

YSJ: I want God's grace. I want Parliament to honour its promise.

Why Special Category status? Make the most of existing resources and industries.

YSJ: We can't compete with cities like Hyderabad and Chennai. AP youth have nowhere to go for jobs. Hyderabad is way ahead of any city in AP. How could we make Andhra Pradesh a viable destination for industries, hospitals, hotels or IT firms, without any infrastructure?

You broke off with Congress to start your own political party after serious differences with Sonia Gandhi. Will you get back to Congress?

YSJ: SCS is our main goal. Support us. We are not against any party, our options are open.

Going back to Congress? Is that possible?

YSJ: Where is Congress? It has evaporated. It is a non entity in AP. They probably need us, we certainly don’t.

Are they improving?

YSJ: If they are progressing, then why do they need to tie up with the TDP? It shows that they have no confidence in themselves. Congress recently released a book on Chandrababu calling him the Most Corrupt CM and three months later, they forged a pact with the TDP for Telangana elections. Who are they fooling?

Will Congress-TDP alliance make any difference?

YSJ: I believe in God and people. Last time, YSRCP fought all them together and the difference in vote share was only 1%. I see it as a battle between credibility Vs opportunism.

On cases against him

YSJ: All these cases were politically motivated after the sudden demise of my father Dr YSR. The TDP and Congress conspired to forge false cases against me. People of AP are aware of this. They have unfortumnately spoken ill against my father too, after his death. But if he was corrupt, how could he bring 33 MPs single- handedly to get a huge mandate from AP for UPA -2 in 2009. People knew what kind of a person my father was.

Your comments on the Balakot airstrikes

YSJ: Modiji exhibited strong political will and that makes a lot of difference.

Buzz is you would change the capital of AP

YSJ: This is a catch-22 situation. What is Amaravati? It is a massive land scam. In June 2019, Chandrababu became the chief minister. He knew where the capital city was going to be constructed. But he deliberately misled people. His own Heritage company bought land in the capital area.

His proxies too bought lands there at throwaway prices. This is insider trading using your knowledge as an official for your gain and benefit of your cronies. He also ensured that his lands remained outside the pooling area.

Chandrababu was caught on audio/video tapes in the note for vote case in Telangana and forensic reports confirmed that it was his voice. And yet he has gone scot-free and no cases have been booked against him. Your own channel has telecast this

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