Hinting that attack is the best form of defence, Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad has instructed the state party leadership not to spare Kadapa MP Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and other opposition leaders. Mr Azad, while interacting with the state-level Congress Coordination Committee members in Gandhi Bhavan late on Thursday evening found fault with the ministers and party seniors for failing to counter the criticism leveled by Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy and other opposition leaders against the Congress party and the government.
Mr Azad then told the Coordination panel that from the complaints he heard against ministers and senior party leaders, they are not bothered to counter political adversaries, including the criticism leveled by Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy effectively. He then directed the state leadership to be more offe-nsive on all such matters. Mr Azad also reminded the panel that the Congress in the state is waging a lone battle and is facing several odds. He told the panel members that the party earlier had TRS, CPI and CPM on its side and faced only the Telugu Desam.
“Now the situation is totally changed. We (Cong-ress) are alone and are facing a threat from the Opposition and Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy, so we have to be more careful,” Mr Azad is reported to have said. Sources said that Deputy Chief Minister C. Damo-dar Raja Narasimha sought to know why the Rs 2-a-kilo rice scheme was replaced with `1-a-kilo rice scheme and at whose behest. “When nobody wanted it, why should the CM get it changed,” he is said to have asked.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy explained that he got permission from Congress president Sonia Gandhi to suitably amend the schemes launched by late Rajasekhara Reddy in order to win support for the party. Mr Raja Narasimha shot back and asked “in that case will you change 104, 108, Arogyasri, free power to agriculture and other schemes too? Why should we do that, we can as well tell the people all these schemes were launched by the Congress government, what is the problem.”