It looks like Andhra Pradesh state tourism minister Avanti Srinivas has made a big self-goal by hastily issuing a statement against former minister and TDP legislator from Visakhapatnam (north) Ganta Srinivasa Rao.
Soon after the reports that Ganta is all set to join the YSR Congress party by August 16 surfaced in a section of media, Avanti hurriedly issued a statement that the TDP leader was trying to defect to the ruling party only to wriggle out of the land scams and bicycle purchase scam.
He even went to the extent of saying that he had disclosed everything to party general secretary and Rajya Sabha member V Vijay Sai Reddy, who is in-charge of the party affairs in north-coastal Andhra.
There has been talk about Ganta Srinivasa Rao quitting the TDP and joining the Jagan party for quite some time in the state political circles.
There have also been reports that Vijay Sai Reddy has been strongly opposing Ganta’s entry into the party, as was evident from his statements.
Now, the latest statement from Avanti Srinivas clearly indicated that Jagan is in favour of admitting Ganta into the YSRC, despite objections from Avanti and Vijay Sai Reddy.
It has also indicated that Avanti is differing from none other than Jagan with regard to Ganta’s entry and he had openly admitted that even Vijay Sai Reddy had failed to stall the defection of the TDP leader.
What is worse, Avanti’s statement has sent clear signals that leaders who have been involved in various scams and cases can enter the YSRC to take protection and that criminals can get out of the cases if they join the YSRC.
Looking in any angle, Avanti’s statement has clearly damaged the image of Jagan as well as the YSRC. It is not targeted at Ganta, but the prestige of Jagan. He should have expressed his views within the party or brought it to the notice of the chief minister.
But by openly questioning Jagan’s decision, Avanti has sent a wrong signal to the party. No wonder, if Jagan sacks Avanti from the cabinet post for making such damaging statements!