AP bypolls: Kiran confident of good show



Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Sunday hit back at Health Minister D L Ravindra Reddy who had accused him of having a tacit understanding with Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.

"He (Ravindra Reddy) does not have any work and you (media) don't have any work," Kiran replied when asked by reporters about his colleague's remarks. Ravindra Reddy is a known critic of the Chief Minister and his latest attack on him drew flak from other party leaders as well.

Given that the Chief Minister had never made any critical remarks against Jagan, Ravindra Reddy had claimed that the chief minister appeared to be having a tacit understanding with the Kadapa MP.

Kiran, who is facing an acid test in next month's by-polls to one Lok Sabha and 18 assembly seats especially after the party drew a blank in the by-polls held for seven assembly seats recently, expressed confidence that Congress would put up a good show.

"Our endeavour is to win the one Lok Sabha and the 18 assembly segments," he told reporters in Visakhapatnam.

He would be campaigning in Srikakulam, East and West Godavari districts for three days in support of the party candidates.

Congress will take on main opposition Telugu Desam and Kadapa MP Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress which are already in the thick of campaigning.

By-polls are necessitated for 16 of the 18 assembly seats as the sitting Congress MLAs were disqualified by Speaker as they switched loyalty to Jagan, while another sitting member resigned in support of the Kadapa MP.

Chiranjeevi quit as MLA following his election to Rajya Sabha. The bye-election is necessitated in Nellore as the sitting Congress MP also resigned in support of Jagan. Polling for the one Lok Sabha (Nellore) and 18 assembly constituencies will be held on June 12 while counting is scheduled for June 15.

Meanwhile, state Primary Education Minister S Sailajanath and Congress Chief Whip Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy dismissed the allegations of Jagan that welfare schemes launched by his father (late Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy) were not being implemented properly.

Jagan and the YSRC leaders should stop making baseless allegations, they said. Appreciating the Chief Minister's initiative to ink a pact with neighbouring Maharashtra on constructing an irrigation project Pranahita river for the benefit of both the states, Sailajanath said the project is a boon for Telangana region.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister said the government would try to reach similar agreements with neighbouring Orissa and Chattisgarh on multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project which has been the demand of coastal Andhra districts since several decades.

The agreements would benefit AP and also the neighbouring states, the Chief Minister said.

PTI