With the YSRCP party leadership preparing ground for the likely disqualification of Lok Sabha MP Raghurama Krishna Raju, the ‘rebel’ leader said the party was simply wasting money on the special chartered flight to ferry its MPs to New Delhi to meet Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
Reacting to the news that a group of YSRCP MPs are boarding the flight tomorrow from Vijayawada to move a disqualification petition before Om Birla, Raju said he cannot be disqualified merely because he raised certain issues.
Stating that he was so far under the impression that Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy was not aware of the growing intolerance against him from his own party leaders, he said, “Now it is clear that this is happening with full knowledge of Jagan Mohan Reddy. Obviously, the MPs and lawyers are meeting the Lok Sabha Speaker with the consent of the Chief Minister. MPs and lawyers flying from Vijayawada to Delhi to meet the Lok Sabha Speaker is a wasteful expenditure and an exercise in futility. The MPs could have mailed their grievance. Why take a special flight? This is nothing but a mere show. Ultimately, it is taxpayers money,” he criticised.
Further, he said he never uttered a single word against the party or the Chief Minister. “I opposed the TTD when it proposed to sell Srivari assets. I also brought the issue to the notice of the Chief Minister who immediately stopped the sale of temple properties. I never said that the party leaders were attempting to sell the temple assets nor did I say that they were usurping the house sites. I have no clue why a show-cause notice was issued. That said, it is a wasteful expenditure,” he stated,
The YSRCP MPs are likely to place a disqualification petition before the Lok Sabha Speaker against Raju on the ground that he is indulging in anti-party activities. The YSRCP MPs meeting with Om Birla comes days after Raju had dashed off a letter to the LS Speaker expressing fear of threat to his life from his party’s leaders in his native district West Godavari district.
In his letter written to the Speaker on June 18, Raju had requested that he be provided security by police protection in the wake of increased threats from YSRCP leader. Earlier, Raju had met the officials of the Election Commission of India, Defence minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of Home for State Kishan Reddy. ,
In response to YSRCP Rajya Sabha MP Vijayasai Reddy’s show cause notice, Raju had sought to know if YSRCP has an internal committee to deal with inter-party disciplinary issues. Raju also questioned as to who heads the internal disciplinary committee of the YSRCP. Raju also questioned the legal sanctity of the notice as it was served under the letterhead of the YSR Congress Party instead of the party name ‘Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party’ which is the registered name in the Election Commission of India. Further, he sought to know in what capacity Vijayasai Reddy has sent the show cause notice to him.
Raju had been openly criticising various omissions and commissions of the YSRCP government, including its policy on sand, land and liquor.
The Lok Sabha MP openly expressed his displeasure over the proposed sale of TTD assets stating that such a move would hurt the sentiments of the devotees. He criticised the government’s move to implement English medium in government schools. In Times Newshour debate, Raju also admitted wide-spread Christian conversions in Andhra Pradesh.
The YSRCP MP had also raised the issue of sand scarcity in AP due to the flawed policy adopted by the Jagan government which has led to a steep spike in the price of sand thereby paralyzing the construction industry.