Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan here this afternoon after completing the first round of election campaigning, Botsa defended Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy's allegation that Jagan lived in a 70-room mansion in Hyderabad and thus had no concern for the poor. "Yes, Jagan owns palatial buildings in Hyderabad, Pulivendula (his hometown) and Bengaluru. Let him allow media personnel to inspect the houses and if our charge is proved wrong we will rectify it," Botsa said.
The Chief Minister and the PCC chief have been targeting Jagan personally as part of the campaigning for the by-elections slated for Jun 12. Jagan's palatial houses and his lavish style, apart from the corruption charges and "criminal links", are being used as weapons by Congress leaders to hit at the YSR Congress President, who has emerged as their biggest political threat.
"We are explaining to voters how Jagan amassed huge wealth through illegal means. We are able to convince the people," Botsa claimed. Jagan had no policies of his own and was trumpeting the Congress programmes as his own, the PCC president alleged. The by-elections to 18 Assembly constituencies and one Lok Sabha seat could not be a "referendum" on the State Congress government, but they were a battle between "deceitful and corrupt" forces (read Jagan) and "honest and welfare-oriented" forces.
"Our agenda is only welfare and development and the Congress is the only pro-poor party," Botsa added.