Did the late YS Rajshekhar Reddy (YSR) want actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi to be inducted into the union cabinet?
As the Congress is luring the actor into its fold, YSR’s son Jaganmohan Reddy and YSR loyalist and MP V Arun Kumar are locked in a bitter battle on what the late leader wanted.
Kumar has released part of a letter that YSR had asked him to deliver to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the eve of the formation of UPA-2 government in May 2009, pleading her to induct Chiranjeevi into the union cabinet. The Jagan camp has retorted calling it a breach of trust. To counter the damage Jagan is causing to the party, Congress is looking at an alliance with Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party.
Arun Kumar, who used to be a close associate of YSR, has remained silent throughout Jagan’s rebellion, leading to a speculation that he was keeping his options open. “I have been telling Jagan that he has no future outside the Congress. He did not listen,” Kumar said.
The MP said the YSR was very clear that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi could keep the party together. “While she was not in politics, he used to tell me unless she takes over the reins, the party could not win. She also valued him and gave him all the autonomy to run the affairs in the state.”
Kumar said YSR emailed a letter that he delivered to Sonia, on May 18, 2009. The letter had made some suggestions on who to be included and kept out.
The letter asks the Congress president to include Chiranjeevi as a cabinet minister so that the “party is strengthened in the state”. “YSR clearly wanted to win over Chiranjeevi. He had instructed all ministers to consider all MLAs of the PRP as Congress’s own and attend to their requests,” Kumar said.