There are rumours that you want to leave the Congress and join the BJP?
This is all rubbish. I am telling you today, till my death I will not ditch or leave the Congress party.
The Congress is the only party that practices secularism and social justice. I like these two qualities and I am continuing in the party only because of that. I cannot adjust to other political parties as they do not have these two qualities. It will be like suffocation for me if I were to join another party. Whether the Congress is going to be in power or out of power, I will not leave the party.When your cabinet colleagues like Ms Purandareswari and others are leaving the party, why not you? Do you think the Congress will gain in the coming elections?
I am not a power monger like Purandareswari. She enjoyed two full terms as Congress MP and also as Union Minister. Then she left the party and joined the BJP hoping she can be in power for some more time. This attitude is not good for politicians. Unfortunately, the situation is like mass hysteria just now. Is it not the responsibility of partymen to stand firm with the Congress party when it is facing some difficult times?What can you offer in the campaign? Everyone says the Congress has permanently lost in Seemandhra and several leaders have left or will do so soon.
I am confident we can convince people of who is the real culprit in the state’s division. I will reveal all the facts. Congress is not the culprit. It is TDP and YSR Congress that demanded the division. There was tremendous pressure on Congress to concede the demand. The other day former Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy said Congress has committed suicide. It was not suicide; there was an attempt to murder Congress by other political parties on the issue of division of the state. They all want to blame the Congress and get away. The truth is otherwise. Was Kiran Kumar Reddy not responsible for the happenings? He told everyone that division would never happen. He was quite aware of the developments in Delhi.What are the plus points you will emphasise in your campaign?
We will tell all the facts to the people. We will expose political parties that are against division of the state now. I will try to enlighten the people that the Congress alone can develop Seemandhra There will be no such pathetic or harrowing situation in Seemandhra as described by Kiran Kumar Reddy. Special category and special economic packages with tax holiday for new industries, besides the gigantic Polavaram project construction will bring prosperity and development in all over Seemandhra state. I doubt that the TRS will allow construction of the Polavaram Dam after the division.You had demanded in the Rajya Sabha that Hyderabad should be made Union Territory, but that did not happen.
Yes, much against party and government stand, I demanded at least UT status. But they have provided in the Telangana Bill some special category for Hyderabad like the Governor to deal with Law and Order, continuing all the admissions and recruitments as they are. They told me there were Constitutional problems in declaring it as UT, as that will create a third state. I am not fully satisfied, but I am convinced about the present status. The way the bifurcation was done, I am very pained by it. It hurts my feelings as an integrationist. I have suffered second class citizen status when I was in Chennai for decades. Having returned here, I should not be treated again as a second class citizen.How many seats you are expecting to win in Seemandhra?
We may win a few, we may not win also. But people should know all the facts and they should judge. What is the sin Congress has committed and what are the good qualities in other political parties that people should vote for them on this particular issue?Is it true that Kapus will support the Telugu Desam this time? Why should the Kapu MLAs support you?
Kapus will not look at TDP for historical reasons. It is only Kapu leaders who are joining the TDP. I don’t think ordinary Kapus will leave the Congress party. In fact I tried many times to get them OBC status in the Central category, but it could not be done due to the poll code and bifurcation issue. It will be done by the Congress only. Kapus should introspect whether they will be secure and safe in the Congress party or in some other party.How do you feel about your brother Pavan Kalyan suddenly launching a new party and embarrassing you with his counter campaigning?
I did not expect he will do it like that. Everyone knew he has different views and ways on issues. When I came to know about his plans (of floating a party) I enquired about it from him. Kalyan told me there is nothing like that. After a few days again I got some news about his plans. Then I deputed Nagababu (his other brother) to meet Pavan. I never discourage people or my brothers to have their own independent thinking or actions. Kal-yan is the number one actor in films. It is time for him to reach a peak in his career and earn something. He has no house even. He also lost a couple of properties and money. It’s better if he contests in 2019. I told Nagababu to convey this to Pavan.Then what happened?
Pavan told Nagababu that he is not going to launch any party. When I again got news that he is vigorously pursuing the political path I told him I would come and see him. He told me he would come to see me, but that did not happen. This was two days before the launch of his party. Like everyone else, I watched the launch of the party on TV.How will you take him on in the elections?
Jana Sena is a political opponent of me like every other political party. His slogan is “Quit Congress and save India”. In fact, the Indianness is brought by Congress. Let me face Kalyan in the elections.