Congress MP from Kadapa and son of former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, appeared on a collision course with his party leadership when he openly blamed it for preventing MLAs and MPs from participating in his ongoing ‘Odarpu yatra' in Srikakulam district.

Pouring out his anguish at the party leadership, Mr. Jagan said while addressing a public meeting at Veeraghatam on the third day of his yatra that party leaders had created hurdles for public representatives who were keen on joining him. “I am very much upset with their attitude.”

“Several MLAs of East Godavari district informed me that the leadership had warned them of repercussions if they participated in my yatra. What is wrong if they join me in consoling families who lost their dear ones after the death of my father?”

He also expressed his anguish over scheduling the Assembly session from July 7 saying that it was intentionally done to prevent MLAs from participating in YSR's birth anniversary celebrations on July 8. “My heart is weighed down by pain, agony and anguish over the difficulties being faced by the party MLAs.

Continuing his defiant streak, Mr. Jagan said several MLAs, who were threatened by the leadership, were sending their family members for the tour. He observed that none had taken care of the families of those who died after the demise of YSR. “Are they not Congress activists? Is it a sin to console their families?”

Meanwhile, five MLAs of Kadapa, Kurnool, West Godavari and Prakasam districts met Mr. Jagan to express their solidarity in addition to G. Srikanth Reddy (Rayachoti) and Alla Nani (Eluru) who are already participating in the yatra. They are B. Shiva Prasada Reddy (Darsi constituency), L. Venkata Swamy (Nandikotkur), Y. Venkateswara Reddy (Sattenapalli), Gurunath Reddy (Anantapur Urban) and A. Amarnath Reddy (Rajampet). They, however, avoided being seen at the public meetings and thereby catch attention of the media.

Hospitality

Interestingly, none of the public representatives of Srikakulam district were seen in public along with the MP though Mr. Jagan was given hospitality at the residence of Palakonda MLA Nimmaka Sugreevulu. According to his close confidantes, the tour was extended by one more day in Srikakulam district only to facilitate the MLAs to join him on Sunday when there will be no sitting of the Assembly.