Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is digging into history--that of Congress party in general and his and late YS Rajasekhara Reddy families in particular.
His apparent objective is to prove that Kadapa MP and YSR Congress president YS Jaganmohan Reddy is a "political novice" with "links to criminals" and that his (Kiran`s) own family has a greater political legacy than that of YSR.
As part of the ongoing campaign for the by-elections in 18 Assembly constituencies and one Lok Sabha seat, the Chief Minister is going ahead with a single-point agenda of targeting Jagan personally.
"We will go to the by-elections on the plank of our government`s development and welfare agenda," Kiran had announced at the start of the electioneering last month.
However, over the days he has been spending his energies only on attacking Jagan first and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu next.
None can grudge Kiran in this regard, for much is at stake for him in the elections.
Initially, Kiran tried to impress upon voters by alleging that Jagan is an "economic offender" who looted the state`s wealth using his father, the then Chief Minister YSR, as a shield.
Later, the Chief Minister sharpened his offensive and
charged Jagan with having links with criminals.
"The truth is coming out gradually and Jagan`s criminal connections are now being established," Kiran alleged.
Kiran then dwells into history and says his father (former minister) Amarnath Reddy got YSR`s father Raja Reddy out of jail (when the latter was arrested in connection with several criminal cases) years ago.
Ironically, Kiran remains vague in his narration of things and leaves everything to one`s imagination.
The Chief Minister is not talking about his pet schemes like creation of 15 lakh jobs to unemployed youth or the `Mee Seva` (Your Service) centres (for electronic delivery of government certificates and services), Jalaprabha (micro irrigation), etc.
The reasons are not hard to seek.
The job scheme failed to take off despite repeated revision of deadlines, existing e-Seva (electronic service) centres launched more than a decade ago by the TDP government have been quietly re-christened as `Mee Seva` centres while the ambitious Jalaprabha programme is stuck in usual procedural delays.
The other much-hyped schemes like loans at zero per cent interest to farmers and women self-help groups remain non-starters as yet.
Three years have elapsed since Congress retained power in the state and the party failed to implement its promises of 2009: enhancing the subsidised rice quota to 30 kg per family and supplying free power for 9 hours to the farm sector.
Pradesh Congress Committee president Botsa Satyanarayana, who has been accompanying Kiran Kumar in the campaign trail, sees nothing wrong in the latter`s "aggression" against Jagan.
"Jagan`s criminal links are only coming out in the open now", Botsa alleges adding "so, there is nothing wrong in exposing them".
The PCC chief also pleads there was nothing wrong in Kiran`s father (a state minister decades ago) helping YSR`s father get out of jail. "He (Raja Reddy) might have reformed later. We don`t know," Botsa adds.
Telugu Desam Party, however, took potshots at Kiran for admitting "atleast belatedly" that corruption was rampant and unsocial elements ran amok during YSR`s tenure. "As the then Chief Whip, Kiran was aware of all the facts but he chose to defend the YSR government for five years. Why did he not open his mouth then?" TDP Politburo member Yanamala Ramakrishnudu said.
"It`s strange that Kiran was talking as if he got to know about the criminal links of Jagan only now. The Chief Minister owes an explanation and also an apology to the people for having defended the father-son duo`s corrupt and criminal acts," Yanamala demanded.
So far, only the first round of campaigning has ended. Round two will begin after the notification for the June 12 by-elections is issued on May 18.