A rift has emerged within the YSRCP, with Narasapuram MP Kanumuru Raghu Rama Krishna Raju alleging that the party is riddled with caste-based politics, and also that various irregular activities have been taking place in the Narasapuram region of West Godavari. YSRCP MLAs from the region, as well as Minister for Information and Public Relations Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani), have now lashed out at him for making false claims and taking credit for the YSRCP’s success in the Narasapuram region in the 2019 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
In a recent interview, MP Raghu Rama Krishna Raju claimed that he was unable to take certain issues like the auction of TTD lands, diversion of sand for sale in the black market, etc. to party chief and Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy directly. As he was unable to get an appointment with the CM, Raghu Rama Krishna Raju said that he had no option but to approach the media. The MP also alleged that there were irregularities in land acquisition and allocation in the state government’s housing scheme for the poor.
In response to his comments, Narasapuram MLA M Prasada Raju said that the MP should have directly approached Jagan with his criticism instead of speaking to the media. Refuting the MP’s claims that he was ignored by the CM, MLA Prasada Raju said that Raghu Rama Krishna Raju could not have become an MP, and chairman of the Subordinate Legislation Committee in the Parliament if he was being ignored.
With this, MP Raghu Rama Krishna Raju put out a statement that the reason MLA Prasada Raju was speaking against him was because it was a norm within the YSRCP to instigate people to criticise others from their own caste.
“There’s a strange principle in our party. For instance, if they want to criticise Pawan Kalyan, they will make leaders of his community (Kapu) speak against him. To comment on BC (Backward Classes) leaders, they will make BC leaders speak. Now, in my case, my friend and Narasapuram MLA Prasada Raju, is being made to speak against me,” he said. He also suggested that Prasada Raju was eyeing a ministerial berth, and alleged that he was asked to criticise people from his own community to become a minister.
Both MLA Prasada Raju and MP Raghu Rama Krishna Raju belong to the Raju community.
He went on to suggest that Reddys were being given undue preference under the YSRCP rule. “I don’t think the Chief Minister knows about this. He is above this, but everyone around him is caste-based. We all know how many posts are going to which caste. I don’t need to say it. Take the lists and look at the wording at the end, you can see who is getting posts,” he said.
MP Raghu also said that he was requested and pressured to join the YSRCP and contest the Lok Sabha election from Narasapuram. He said that the Assembly segments within his constituency, including Narasapuram, Palakollu, Undi and Tanuku, were won by YSRCP because of his clout in a region that is otherwise a TDP stronghold.
Responding to allegations that he had not been visiting the people of his constituency, the MP said that he had been available over the phone and was maintaining physical distance as per COVID-19 prevention guidelines. He also alleged that YSRCP MLAs from the region had coerced their wealthy constituents into donating for COVID-19 relief.
In response to the MP’s allegations, state Minister Perni Nani said that Raghu Rama had joined the YSRCP back in 2014, but tried to switch to TDP and finally moved to BJP when he felt he may not get a ticket. “If he is so influential, he should’ve started his own party. We all know how much he pleaded to join our party, how many conditions Jagan set for him,” he said.
YSRCP MLAs accused the MP of creating a controversy for attention from the media.