Amaravati: The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), whose role in government formation at the Centre could be crucial in case of a hung Parliament, made it clear on Wednesday that it was not averse to supporting any party or grouping, provided its condition of special status to Andhra Pradesh was met.
The remarks on the eve of counting of votes assume significance as at least 22 Opposition parties are refusing to believe the exit polls which have predicted clear majority to the BJP-led coalition and are making efforts to bring all non-NDA parties together for the possible government formation.
YSRCP, led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, has so far not aligned with either the ruling coalition or the Opposition, because of which its moves are being watched closely. There are reports about both the BJP and the Opposition camp trying to woo the party. "If the NDA gets absolute majority as projected by the exit polls, then there is no need for our support. But if somebody falls short and wants our support, we can consider," Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy, senior leader of the YSRCP and member of the outgoing Lok Sabha, said on Wednesday.
He made it clear that his party "can support anybody who gives special status to Andhra Pradesh," a long-pending demand of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Rajamohan Reddy said his party chief has been, from Day-1, pressing for special status to Andhra Pradesh, after the state was split and Telangana was carved out. "We have tried but not succeeded yet," he noted. "If BJP falls short, it will have to accept our demand for special status," the MP from Nellore said. "If Congress gives us the special status, we can support it too," he said.
Asked whether it would mean that YSRCP would provide a conditional support to any formation, Rajamohan Reddy replied, "Anybody, be it NDA or UPA or even Third Front. We are interested in welfare and development of our state." When pointed out to him that TDP had failed to get the special status for Andhra Pradesh even though it was a party of the ruling NDA at the Centre for four years, the YSRCP leader said TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu was "silent for four years and welcomed the special package given by the Centre. Only after 4 years, when he lost bye-elections, he started crying about the status issue”. (WIth inputs from IANS)