Jagan challenges Congress for snap poll

Jaganmohan Reddy retained the Kadapa LS seat with a record margin of over 500,000 votes on Friday.

Hyderabad: A day after his landslide victory in Kadapa by-elections in Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress Party chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Saturday challenged the Congress to call for a snap poll and contest with photos of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

"This is my challenge to the Congress party. If you are so confident, call for an election. Go ahead with the photos of (party president) Sonia Gandhi and (general secretary) Rahul Gandhi. I am ready to go ahead with the photo of my father (late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy)," he told reporters in Kadapa Saturday.

The young leader, popularly called Jagan, retained the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat with a record margin of over 500,000 votes on Friday.

He predicted that whenever the elections are held both the ruling Congress and the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) will be routed.

"Both will lose their deposit money, routed out so badly that it will always be remembered," Jagan said.

Jagan`s mother YS Vijayalaxmi retained Pulivendula assembly seat, which is a segment of the Kadapa Lok Sabha contituency, with record majority.

During the byelection campaign, Jagan had termed the contest a fight between YSR and Sonia Gandhi.

The son of late chief minister Rajasekhara Reddy, who died in a helicopter crash, said the results of the by-elections mark the beginning of a change in the state.

He, however, made it clear that he was not counting on the sitting legislators to bring down the Congress government.

"Fresh faces are always better," he said.

His remarks are significant amid reports that a majority of 26 legislators, who had supported him soon after he quit the Congress party in November last year, deserted him during last two months.

Jagan also said he was sad over the defeat of his uncle YS Vivekananda Reddy in Pulivendula.

He said he would be happy if his uncle quits the Congress and joins the YSR Congress.

"At least now he should reconsider his stand," the leader added.