K V P Ramachandra Rao, Congress MP from Andhra Pradesh, speaks to The Indian Express.
You stood silently in the Well of Rajya Sabha with a placard stating ‘Help Andhra Pradesh’. Why are other AP Congress MPs not supporting you?
Some of my colleagues in Rajya Sabha, maybe for some reasons, may not have been able to join me all through but they are joining me on certain occasions.
TDP members are also disrupting proceedings. Is it just competitive politics?
Definitely not. I was spearheading the issue of AP even when I was a ruling party member…. I get satisfaction that because of uncompromised efforts, many provisions were included in AP Reorganisation Act. I was instrumental in former PM Manmohan Singh’s announcements, assurances in the House on February 20, 2014.
On Wednesday, Ghulam Nabi Azad said Congress is not responsible for your conduct.
Azad was in a very delicate position. The Chairman (Venkaiah Naidu) had given him two options: either I should leave the House or he will adjourn. Remember, the previous day, the entire Opposition had boycotted proceedings in the afternoon after the Chairman adjourned the House till 2 pm…. Against that backdrop, I don’t find any fault with Azad. I have blessings of Rahul-ji and Sonia-ji.
How do you see TDP’s role?
There are two angles. Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu is known for switching sides. He had accepted the special package only after…the government promised that financial management of Polavaram will be handed over to the state government…. Naidu may also be seeing red bells ringing for the BJP after Gujarat and Rajasthan results.
Other opposition MPs appeared restless today. They wanted to take up Budget discussion.
I can understand. The Union Budget is very crucial. For me, my state’s interest is (equally) crucial. Yesterday, the state-wide bandh was a success. After that, if I don’t represent my state’s feelings here, I am not worthy of being a representative here. But I did not raise slogans, I never disrupted proceedings.