A26 US NEWS India Abroad May 2, 2014
Under the Prevention of Corruption Act these two things
are very important, and that has been ruled out.
The third thing is, whether the telecom companies got
any undue advantage or not, that is being tried (in court).
That, too, between the law minister and the CBI there is
You have been saying throughout that the people’s court
matters more than the judicial one. Doesn’t the actual court
of law have any meaning?
Yeah, I made it clear in my pamphlet, too, na, that you are
the judge. As far the court of law is concerned, it is something different. It is based on the trial, formalities, evidence
act, this and that.
But I am thinking that the people’s court is more a court
of justice, so give your verdict. Then we will go to the court
Are you confident that the actual court of law will also...
(interrupts) No, no, that is... I am very confident, that’s
why I am giving statement, na. I am very confident means
I have faith upon the judiciary. Very specifically, I have
more faith in the trial court.
Of course, the interpretation given by the Supreme Court
(canceling the allotment of 2G spectrum licenses) is completely out of its reach, and completely not within the policy framework of the government. That, I am not telling.
That has been highlighted by the Presidential reference.
The interpretation of the Supreme Court in the 2G case to
some extent is completely wrong; this is the contention of
the President of India, not A Raja.
What happens if in case the court verdict goes against
This is all speculation, na. Why are you speculating? Why
don’t you wait for it?
It is completely unfortunate on your part to ask me such
a question. So I am asking you in turn, if I am acquitted in
the case, what will you do?
If you are acquitted, you will become a hero, naturally.
Then? Wait for the hero!
You served as minister for three-and-a-half years under
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. There is lot of talk about
him being a weak prime minister. Do you, based on your
experience, think he is a weak PM? You rejected his letter to
you on the 2G allotment, after all.
It is not for me to comment if he is a weak prime minister or a strong one. As far as my case is concerned, it is very
clear that I said in my reply sent to the Joint Parliamentary
Committee (inquiring into the 2G scam) that the government did not act properly in the 2G case.
Had it been defended properly with policies and frameworks, this case is completely honest.
Lots of opinion polls indicate that the National
Democratic Alliance may form the next government. Do you
agree with such an assessment?
That we cannot say, na. I am campaigning, na. I have not
been able to reach the other states and reach the other people. Let us see, what the people decide. Whatever the mandate, we have to accept it.
Your party recently went through a lot of upheavals with
M K Azhagiri being expelled. What impact will it have on
your party’s electoral fortunes?
See, institution is more important than the individual.
The DMK is an institution, where the leader became part
and parcel of the institution, the two cannot be separated.
So the leader and tradition is on one side.
I do not want to comment upon any individual, including
Mr Azhagiri. But the DMK is always an institution-based
party. It is not depending upon individuals.
So leader is leader, party is, as I said, institution — it cannot be questioned.
So you are saying that Azhagiri’s departure won’t have any
impact on the party?
No, no, don’t interpret what I said in such a manner, I am
not telling that. See, even if one member is going you can
say na, that somebody is going out.
What I am telling you is, institution is institution, aberrations may come, aberrations may go, but institution is
institution, it cannot be stopped or pulled down.
‘I did a revolution, got branded as a criminal’
entirely different. Jagan calls his campaign
trail the Jana Bheri (meet the people)
program. He urges people to bring back the
Rajanna Rajyam for a prosperous state.
Rajanna is what people called his father
Those close to Jagan say he transforms
into a completely different individual when
he is with the public. He knows that the people love him and he approaches the voters
with a perpetual smile.
Jagan ensures that at every possible opportunity, he steps down from his vehicle and
interacts with people. He gets emotional
when elderly people come to him and speak
about his father.
Jagan has a tough battle ahead. Although
his archrival, the Congress party, is not being
taken seriously in the Seema-Andhra region
this time, he does have his share of
headaches in the form of the Telugu Desam
Party-Bharatiya Janata Party combine and
also the fact that movie superstar Pawan
Kalyan is campaigning for the BJP-TDP
From his speeches it is very clear that he is
only targeting the TDP only.
He reminds people that Naidu had once
said that real growth was through industrialization and not agriculture.
The crowd is smitten with him. They don’t
seem to care that he is an accused in a corruption case and is out on bail.
The death of his father is a major issue
during this election as Jagan still has a considerable amount of sympathy in the Seema-Andhra region.
He begins every speech by speaking about
his father who single-handedly helped the
Congress party win the 2004 and 2009 elec-
tions in state.
Appearing to break down, he goes on to
state that all he wanted to do was an Odarpu
Yatra (condolence program) in his father’s
memory, but the Congress party, of which he
was a part till 2010, denied him permission.
‘When I quit the Congress (party) due to
this reason, they sought to malign me by
throwing up these (corruption) cases,’ he
tells the crowds. ‘Where was all this when I
was in the Congress (party) They could not
bear my popularity and hence thought they
would sideline me. When I was in jail I
always thought of what my father said and
that was never to trust anyone. I don’t trust
anyone, but all of you who will vote for me.’
One could say that Jagan is a success story
so far. His YSR Congress Party — founded
three years ago — has 18 members in the
state legislative assembly, three in
Parliament and five in the state legislative
His popularity can also be gauged by the
margin of 545,053 votes that he won the
Kadapa Lok Sabha seat in 2011.
Jagan is not all about rural voters only. He
strongly believes that technology should
drive his political campaign. He has ensured
that he has a strong team, which runs his
social media campaign.
This is evident from the fact that he is the
most searched for politician on the Internet
in Andhra Pradesh. Apart from this he has a
set of advisors, both old and young, who help
with his campaign and strategy.
In the name of his father ;Page A24
A Raja addresses a gathering of villagers from the campaign vehicle. He addressed at least 50 small meetings on a single day from the van .
SAISURESH SIVAS WAM Y/REDIFF. COM