Under attack from the Congress for changing tack ahead of the crucial Kadapa bypoll, YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy has clarified that he would support any political party “in the state’s interest, except the Bharatiya Janata Party.”
The former Congressman has been in the eye of a storm, following his Wednesday’s statement that he would support the BJP “if they agree to a 10% reservation for Muslims.”
On Thursday, in an interview to HT, Reddy -- who is contesting from YSR’s pocket borough Kadapa after resigning from the Congress -- said he had not shut his doors to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi altogether and would support her if he could “claim mileage from such a support”.
“It is not just to Sonia Gandhi,” he clarified further on Friday. “My support will be for anyone who would protect the interests of Andhra Pradesh – be it Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee or Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee --but not the BJP.” Reddy had sought to explain his statement on the support to BJP, saying he knew the “10 per cent Muslim reservation proposal will never be acceptable to the BJP, so the situation of allying with the party does not arise”.
Analysts say his current openness to the Congress is meant to project a secular face and counter the opposition attack that he would ally with the BJP. Also, Reddy now finds himself besieged on other fronts, with the Andhra Pradesh High Court taking up a case suo motu on his alleged disproportionate assets, the assembly’s joint committee set up to inquire about preferential land allotments made in YSR's time and the likely crackdown of the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax Department on his companies.