Jagan offered Rs 1500 cr to Congress high command to become CM: Farooq Abdullah
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday alleged that YSR Congress president YS Jaganmohan Reddy offered to pay 1,500 crore to the Congress high command if he were made the chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh after the death of his father YS Rajasekhar Reddy (also known as YSR) in 2009.
Hindustan Times could not independently verify his claim.
YSR, the former Andhra Pradesh CM and the Congress’ biggest leader in the state died after his chopper crashed due to inclement weather.
“(Jaganmohan) Reddy told me he was ready to offer 1,500 crore to the (Congress) high command if he were made the chief minister of the then combined Andhra Pradesh,” he said. Repeated attempts to reach out to Reddy and YSRC general secretary V Vijay Sai Reddy for their reactions to Abdullah’s allegations proved futile. All India Congress Committee spokesman Sravan Dasoju said it was a fact that Jagan had made all attempts to become the chief minister, including initiating a signature campaign by Congress legislators at the time.
“But the claim by Farooq Abdullah that Jagan had offered money to the high command to make him CM has no authenticity. Sonia had taken the best decision on YSR’s successor in the prevailing circumstances then,” he said. Congress veteran K Rosaiah had succeeded YSR.
Abdullah, the National Conference leader, made the sensational claim at an election rally that he addressed to seek support for Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu at Kadapa.
Several top leaders from the opposition alliance, including Abdullah will campaign for Naidu in the coming weeks, according to a senior TDP leader.
Abdullah, who arrived in Vijayawada on Monday, will participate in Naidu’s election rallies in Allagadda, Nandyal and Kurnool in Rayalaseema region, considered to be the bastion of YSR Congress party. Naidu is at the forefront of the Mahagathbandhan or the grand alliance that aims to unseat the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government at the centre. While the Congress is part of the alliance that has come together to oppose the BJP, it will contest the upcoming polls in the state independently.
The elections for the state assembly (175 seats) and Lok Sabha (25 seats) will be held simultaneously on April 11.
On March 31, Naidu plans to put up a massive “show of strength” at Visakhapatnam. “It will be attended by Mamata, Kejriwal, Farooq Abdullah, Sharad Pawar and Deve Gowda who will extend solidarity with Naidu and also strengthen the grand alliance’s cause,” Rao added.
Another senior leader familiar with the development said former Union ministers from the BJP Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie might also attend the Visakhapatnam rally.
Political analyst and author Sriram Karri said Naidu’s attempt to get a national status by involving top opposition leaders may turn out to be a futile exercise, as there is no unanimity among them on the prime ministerial candidate.