Naidu will not retain even present post: YSR
Ground reality in State “favourable and extremely good” for the ruling Congress, says Chief Minister
We will win 230 out of 294 Assembly seats: YSR
‘In LS poll, party will win 36-39 out of 42 seats’
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Saturday said the ground reality in the State was “so favourable and extremely good” for the Congress that his bete noire and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu would find it difficult even to retain the present post of Leader of the Opposition after the Assembly poll.
Talking to mediapersons here on Saturday, he said while the Congress would retain power in the State by winning at least 230 out of 294 Assembly seats, there would be a stiff competition between the Praja Rajyam and TDP-Left-TRS alliance on securing the second position. In the Lok Sabha poll, the party would easily win 36-39 out of total 42 seats.
Though he had been in politics for the last 35 years, he had never seen such a massive feeling among the public for the Congress government as his regime had introduced so many new welfare schemes; kept the law and order under control and provided transparent governance.
Dr. Reddy pooh-poohed Mr. Naidu’s criticism about the government’s newly introduced pension scheme for the self-help group women by stating that the latter had become frustrated as he could do nothing to dislodge the Congress regime.
No right thinking person would criticise the scheme. It would be better for Mr. Naidu to meet an astrologer or a pandit to know about his future.
“Whereas for the Congress government, due to God’s grace, everything ends in success. Besides, the State is getting good rain, vastly improving in food grain production.”
On the fraud in Satyam, the Chief Minister said the State government was taking all legal steps to conduct a fair probe and the government officials were in touch with the SEBI and Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) officials on a day-to-day basis. “We had coordinated even when the SEBI officials quizzed Satyam ex-chairman B. Ramalinga Raju in the jail,” he said.
He wondered how the government could be blamed as it was not possible to supervise the accounts of various companies everyday.
YSR seeks gas allocation priority to power sector
Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy has urged External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is also in-charge of Finance Ministry, to inter-change the priority of natural gas allocation out of the gas produced by the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) from the Krishna-Godavari basin in the State.
Instead of allotting the gas first to the fertilizers sector, as decided by the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by Mr. Mukherjee, priority of allocation could be made to the power sector during March-April 2009 as it would help Andhra Pradesh to generate more.
He pointed out that EGoM gave priority to the fertilizers production as it was imported at higher rates due to shortage in production in the country then.
Now, the situation had changed and the fertilizer prices had come down and the priority of gas allocation could be changed now, he argued.
With the State government expected to get nine out of 18 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas, the power production could jump up by another 2,500 MW in Andhra Pradesh.
He also urged Mr. Mukherjee to permit the State to raise additional resources of Rs. 7,638 crore by way of borrowings beyond 3.5 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) during 2008-09 and waive proviso 24 of the Debt Consolidation and Relief Facility (DCRF) guidelines.
Dr. Reddy called on Defence Minister A.K. Antony which he later described as a courtesy call.