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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Open to alliance with Cong: Sharmila Reddy

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 27, 2013
First Published: 00:11 IST(27/6/2013) | Last Updated: 11:31 IST(27/6/2013)

Despite hostilities, the YSR Congress has indicated that it was not averse to doing business with the Congress post 2014 Lok Sabha polls to keep the BJP out of power.

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“The Congress has back-stabbed us but at the same time we can’t go with BJP for ideological reasons. In that case, we will support either Congress or the Third Front,” YSR Congress leader and party chief Jaganmohan Reddy’s sister Sharmila Reddy told Hindustan Times.

Sharmila, who on Sunday completed a distance of 2,500 km during her ongoing ‘padyatra (march)’ across Andhra Pradesh, however, was quick to add that the party president will take the final call at the appropriate time.

Sharmila’s statement will be music to Congress ears given that Jagan had parted ways with the party on a bitter note. He had resigned from the Congress in November 2010 after defying the leadership by going on ‘Odarpu yatra’ to console families of those who had committed suicide following the death of his father and late Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy in a helicopter crash on September 2, 2009.

The Congress is facing extremely tough situation in Andhra Pradesh following simmering discontent over the Telangana issue and the growing exodus of its leaders to the YSR Congress party and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

The state had helped the Congress first regain power at the Centre in 2004 and then retain it in 2009. While the party won 29 seats in 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the tally increased to 33 in 2009. The Congress also won the state elections in 2004 and 2009.

“It was my father who single-handedly contributed to Congress victories in both Lok Sabha and assembly elections in 2004 as well as 2009. Now, they have forgotten his contribution. They (Congress) have betrayed us…destroyed my father’s legacy,” Sharmila said.

She claimed that her party will win 35 Lok Sabha and around 220 assembly seats in 2014 despite her brother being in jail in a disproportionate assets case for more than a year now. The CBI had arrested the Kadapa MP in May 2012.

About her party’s stand on contentious Telangana issue, Sharmila said the YSR Congress wanted a “fair deal” for all the three regions of the state.

 “Let Congress come up with its stand first. We don’t want injustice to any region,” she said.


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