Kanumuru Raghurama Krishna Raju, rebel Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party Member of Parliament (MP) from Narasapuram constituency has emerged as an unlikely Trojan horse in the ruling dispensation of Andhra Pradesh.
Nobody expected that Raju would do politicking from within on several of the pet projects of YSRCP founder and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, beginning with English medium education, three capitals and many others.
Though the Narasapuram MP himself attended English medium schools in Vijayawada and Chennai and reaped the benefits, he somehow went on to oppose the idea of English medium education for all school children, many of whom come from very poor background.
Abandoning his constituency, where several villages lack even potable drinking water, the MP with a penchant for flanking cinema stars and celebrities in photographs, mostly divided his time between his cozy environs of Hyderabad and Delhi.
Employing mockery, vulgar antics and disparaging expressions, Raju would directly attack the chief minister for reasons best known to him.
Entire AP and the Telugu diaspora are clueless as to why he is spewing venom on the CM, nobody knows what transpired between these two individuals.
Invoking religion, caste, reservations, the Christian minority institutions-educated Raju has been incessantly targeting the government and the CM for more than a year now.
Despite several demands from YSRCP legislators to expel him for anti-party activities and disobedience towards the CM, Raju never relented and instead claimed that he won the election with his own ‘glamour’ and money.
He even went to the extent of claiming that other MLAs in his constituency also won because of his name and fame, completely negating the tsunami of success wave ridden by Reddy.
In fact, Raju joined YSRCP some 10 days before the 2019 polls.
Though the Andhra chief minister is known for exacting complete discipline, obedience and loyalty from his subordinates, just like his late father and former CM Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, Raju has curiously emerged as an aberration.
The Parliamentarian did not tone down his attacks on the CM and government even after undergoing a bypass surgery. In fact his attacks gained more ferocity after the surgery.
What appeared like preparing himself to shield from any retaliation from the government or his own party members for his activities, the Narasapuram MP met Speaker Om Birla, President Ram Nath Kovid and several other bigwigs in Delhi.
However, one fine day in May, AP CID police swooped on him in Hyderabad for being on the wrong side of the law with his vitriolic speeches against a caste and a religion.
Raju claimed that police beat him brutally in custody, an allegation which played a key role in him getting the bail.
But the bigger question is would a heart patient who had recently undergone bypass surgery stay alive after allegedly being meted out third degree torture by police?
Meanwhile, Raju started a war of letters against the government and CM claiming that many promises were not fulfilled.
In his latest letter to the Chief Minister, Raju alleged that senior YSRCP leader and Rajya Sabha MP V. Vijayasai Reddy is making ‘objectionable comments’ against Mansas Trust chairman Ashok Gajapati Raju.
Unlike Raju’s earlier videos in which he would abuse Reddy using his caste and other derogatory references, the MP kept his tone and tenor in the letters respectful and dignified, including addressing the CM as ‘dear sir’.
However, his observations on ‘objectionable comments’ did cause a surprise considering the lengths and depths of vulgarity Raju stooped to in his attacks on the government.
Raju does not have an impeccable record either. At a time when he is incessantly lecturing about morality, ethics, integrity and other virtues, another Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case was recently registered against him for alleged bank forgery scam worth Rs 238 crore.
Recently, a group of Dalits who claimed to have voted for the Narasapuram MP lodged a complaint with the police to arrest him for failing to fulfill the promises he made during elections. They complained that the MP is always absent.
Despite all these developments, Raju has his legions of supporters and admirers. Upon his arrest and release on bail recently, a couple of large flexi posters sprung up in his home district, appreciating his ‘boldness’.
Meanwhile, there were reports a week ago that Raju;s name was struck off from YSRCP MPs list.
With another three more years left in his tenure as an MP, it remains to be seen what Raju will be upto? Will he start a new political party, as some of his supporters have commented, to ‘trounce’ Reddy’s YSRCP? Will contest as an independent? This space has to be watched.