No Jagan connection in POSCO deals, says Peddireddi

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He said Chandrababu was protecting Atchannaidu and Kollu Ravindra, who had 'terrorised the contestants'

Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy (extreme right). — DC File photo

VIJAYAWADA: Minister for Panchayat Raj Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy said on Friday that no connection existed between Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy and the POSCO steel company. Instead, Reddy urged Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu to comment on the issue of Vizag Steel Plant privatisation.

The minister refuted an allegation of TD leader Chandrababu Naidu that the CM planned to purchase the Vizag Steel. He admitted that POSCO representatives met CM Jagan, but this was a courtesy call. Recalling that Venkaiah Naidu had, as a student leader, agitated for the setting up of the Vizag Steel Plant, he said the VP should now intervene and stop the Centre from privatizing this prestigious entity.

Minister Reddy told the media that Chandrababu Naidu was suffering from a “Jagan phobia”.

“Naidu is envious of Jagan,” he said and added that Jagan as CM has implemented over 90 per cent of the promises the YSRC made in its election manifesto. “Jagan did this in just 18 months and took his governance to the doorsteps of the people through village and ward secretariats.”

He said the YSRC will win the present gram panchayat elections with a thumping majority as the people were largely benefited by the welfare initiatives of the state government.

The minister said Chandrababu was still unable to reconcile to his party’s defeat in the assembly polls in 2019. “Thus, the TDP has been raking up issues to create chaos in AP.” He slammed the TD leader for his “attempts at misinterpreting the election results” and stated that the public had rejected the TDP, which got less than 10 per cent seats in the assembly.

Brushing aside the allegations of the YSRC using force to effect unanimous polls for grama panchayats, the minister said Chandrababu was protecting Atchannaidu and Kollu Ravindra, who had “terrorised the contestants”.

Minister Reddy said, “There is overwhelming response from the people of Chittoor to the good governance provided by the Chief Minister and me. The government is implementing a lot of  welfare schemes. Due to this, Chandrababu’s men will be defeated even in his own constituency and in the whole of Chittoor district.”

On the Visakhapatnam steel plant, the minister noted that this was a central government institution. If POSCO company wanted to have a deal, they would talk to the Prime Minister of the Union Government.  “POSCO is a multinational. Its representatives met the chief minister by way of a courtesy call. The meeting had nothing to do with the Vizag steel plant.”