All state ministers, including you, submitted a memorandum to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday, strongly recommending Jagan Mohan Reddy for chief ministership of Andhra Pradesh. Do you still want him as the next Chief Minister?
The question of my supporting Jagan Mohan Reddy does not arise as I believe that I am just a soldier of the party. Reddy is young and enthusiastic and has some qualities of his father. I will do whatever the party tells me to do. At the same time, I cannot advise the party to make Jagan Mohan Reddy Chief Minister.
Would you prefer to work under him (Reddy)?
This is all hypothetical...the issue is not about my working under him. As long as I am fit, I’ll do whatever the high command asks me to do. I served as chief spokesperson of the party after stepping down as Pradesh Congress Committee head.
What about dealing with former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu… with YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s death, he might emerge stronger?
Reddy got a chance, and he proved himself. If one leader is missing from the scene, another will emerge to deal with such situations.
Between you and Jagan Mohan Reddy, who can be the right person to run the state?
The decision does not depend on one person. If Jagan Mohan Reddy is there, he will have his team. On my part, I never campaign for anyone, not even myself. I often go to Delhi but for more than a year I did not even interact with our party president Sonia Gandhi.
If the high command decides to continue with you at the helm, do you think you can match up to YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s standards?
There can be no match for Reddy. I have been managing various portfolios from 1979, and though we were there to support him, it was his spirit that was instrumental in running the programmes.