PRP chief beats a hasty retreat

Hyderabad, August 10: Taking everyone by surprise, Praja Rajyam chief Chiranjeevi beat a hasty retreat at Nellore on Monday claiming that his announcement of support to K Rosaiah government in the State in the event of it coming under threat was only hypothetical in nature.

Yesterday at Kavali, Chiranjeevi said in clear terms that if Rosaiah government, for any reason, wobbles, he was there to help him out with his 18 MLAs.

Overnight, Chiranjeevi changed his stand, saying that the announcement was only in the form of a reaction to searching questions from media persons and that he never wanted to make an official announcement.

“I had said only in such a situation (fall of government), the PRP will support the government,” he said and pointed out that he had made the offer, not interested in running away from the media or prevaricating a reply that he would take a decision at an appropriate time like many politicians do.

He took pains to establish the fact that he did not make an unconditional offer of support and that it should not be construed as though he was in the Congress camp already. His meeting with Sonia Gandhi ahead of Rajya Sabba elections in the past had no bearing on PRP’s policies in future. “At that time, the Congress chief made a request to me to support the Congress as there was an uncertainty over its candidates winning the elections,” he said.

In another volte face, Chiranjeevi denied he referred to YS Jagan Mohan Reddy when he said it was astonishing to know how heirs of politicians would amass wealth to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees in just a matter of five to six years. He also dared him to explain how it could be possible to earn that kind of money through legitimate means.

But on Monday, he said the media had read between the lines that he meant Jagan Mohan Reddy which he said was not true. “I referred to every one who amassed wealth after entering public life. It was an endorsement of what my party colleague C Ramachandraiah had said earlier that only heirs of politicians would be able to mint money,” he said and dug into the past to come up with instances to buttress his argument. “In the run up to the 2009 general elections, both Chandrababu Naidu and YS Rajasekhara Reddy accused each other of corruption. In those days, I in fact demanded an inquiry into the shady deals and called them the birds of the same flock, Chiranjeevi pointed out.