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Congress steps up attack on Jagan

Hyderabad: Stepping up its attack on YSR Congress leader Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in the run-up to the June 12 by-polls, Congress today said that it did not appoint him as Chief Minister after his father`s death despite his pressure tactics as it followed democratic norms.

"This is democracy. This is not aristocracy that the son would become Chief Minister after the king`s death," Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad who is also incharge of Congress affairs in Andhra Pradesh said. He was addressing a road show at Ongole in Prakasam district along with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi and Union Ministers D Purandeswari and Panabaka Lakshmi.

Azad kicked off the campaign for the by-polls to 18 assembly seats and one Lok Sabha constituency on June 12 in Tirupati on Sunday. He said that Jagan had tried to obtain signatures of MLAs in support of his candidature for chief minister`s post after his father died in helicopter crash. Rebutting the allegation of Jagan and his followers that he was being victimised, Azad said the world could not turn a blind eye to his alleged corruption.

"If Chief Ministers can go to jail, Union Cabinet ministers can go to jail, from Congress party and principal opposition party, what does Jagan think of himself? Has he come from heaven? He wants the whole world to keep eyes shut. He wants that no agency should touch him. Is it possible?" he said in Tirupati. "How can the world keep eyes shut if Jagan builds factories overnight and palatial bungalows worth crores of rupees," he asked. Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy also attacked Jagan and refuted the charge that he was being victimised.

"Jagan Mohan Reddy`s name was mentioned in the FIR over the murder of TDP MLA Paritala Ravi. The then chief minister Rajasekhara Reddy had said he would order a CBI probe which was the premier investigating agency in the country. He said his son would be punished if he was proved guilty. They (Jagan`s family members) never raised doubts about CBI then.

Why do you say now that the Congress is trying to victimise you," Kiran Kumar Reddy remarked today. The by-polls to 16 of the 18 assembly seats became necessary as the sitting Congress MLAs were disqualified after they switched their loyalty to Jagan and voted against the Congress government during a floor test in December, while another MLA resigned in his support. While actor-politician Chiranjeevi quit as MLA following his election to Rajya Sabha which necessitated by-poll in his assembly segment.

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