Ongole MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy quits YSRCP in Andhra; fifth MP to resign

Ongole MP Sreenivasulu Reddy and his son Magunata Raghava Reddy are accused-turned-approvers in the alleged Delhi liquor scam.

ByBhaskar Basava

Published Feb 28, 2024 | 2:39 PM Updated Feb 28, 2024 | 3:45 PM

Magunta Srinivas Reddy and YS Jagan.(Supplied)

Ahead of the upcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state, the ruling YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh faces yet another setback with one more Lok Sabha MP resigning from the party on Wednesday, 28 February.

Ongole MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy became the fifth MP from the Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP to leave the party in recent times.

He mentioned “self-respect” as the reason for leaving the party. Additionally, he announced that his son, Magunta Raghava Reddy, would contest from the Ongole constituency to the Lok Sabha, with the party affiliation to be disclosed soon.

Both father and son are accused-turned-approvers in the Delhi liquor scam case. They belong to the “South Group” — as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in its charge sheet — in an alleged scam related to the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021.

South First had reported in January about Magunta’s plan to exit the YSRCP: Why 3 central Andhra YSRCP MPs are seeking an exit — and looking to contest on new symbols

Also Read: Hanuma Vihari-Andhra Cricket Association face-off turns political

Differences with YS Jagan

The senior leader and businessman faced criticism from YS Jagan over attending the farewell dinner hosted by Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy when he resigned as an MP to be sworn in as the Chief Minister.

YS Jagan rapped Sreenivasulu Reddy over attending Revanth Reddy’s function without obtaining permission.

Sreenivasulu, who joined the YSRCP from the TDP ahead of the 2019 elections and bagged the ticket to contest, is now seeking a shift out as he is unhappy with the party’s decision that he should contest as an MLA from the Giddalur Assembly segment. Following this, Giddalur MLA Anna Rambabu announced that he was quitting politics.

However, with the MP’s disagreement to contest for the MLA post, the YSRCP changed the in-charges for the Giddalur and Markapur Assembly constituencies.

Rambabu was appointed as the in-charge for Markapur, and K Nagarjuna Reddy. The in-charges are the probable MLA contestants of the party.

On the other hand, batting for his friend, former minister, and Ongole MLA, Balineni Srinivas Reddy attempted to convince the party to field Sreenivasulu Reddy to contest from Ongole to the Lok Sabha.

However, according to sources, this didn’t persuade YS Jagan as the sitting MP has been embroiled in the controversial scam and there were also reports that winning prospects were not in favour of the Magunta name.

“There are personal differences between the two leaders over reasons best known to them. They haven’t seen each other face-to-face in many years,” sources told South First.

Also Read: ‘If Jagan isn’t voted back, welfare schemes will stop,’ YSRCP chief asks leaders to tell Andhra voters

In between the BJP and TDP

While Sreenivasulu Reddy announced his decision to quit the YSRCP, he is yet to announce the name of the party he would be joining.

The MP is awaiting the firming up of the TDP-BJP alliance. By siding with this alliance, he believes that his chances of winning would increase and he could contest on a BJP ticket.

Choosing to contest on a BJP ticket coincidentally collides with the legal challenges faced by Sreenivasulu Reddy.

Sreenivasulu  and his son are accused-turned-approvers in the alleged Delhi liquor scam case, part of the so-called “South Group” that allegedly paid ₹100 crore in kickbacks to the Aam Aadmi Party for a favourable excise policy.

According to sources, there are also chances of him joining the TDP, where his son would contest to be an MP, and he would contest to be an MLA from Giddalur, as the TDP initiated communication with the leader.