Top leaders attend release of book on YSR’s padayatra

A function organised in New Delhi for releasing a book, ‘Padayatra – My Diary’ said to be compilation of late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s thoughts during his marathon 1,600-km walk in 2003 became a platform for the Congress leadership to claim the legacy of the late Chief Minister.

The presence of the who’s who of the Congress top brass was viewed as an attempt at sending a clear signal that the ruling party’s opposition to YSR Congress president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy should not be construed as distancing itself from YSR or his policies. None of the family members of late YSR were informed about the function, leave alone being invited to attend it.

Veteran leader Motilal Vora and AICC general secretary AP affairs in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad who formally released the book recalled YSR’s contribution in strengthening the party during its critical times and bringing it to power twice in succession in 2004 and in 2009. “YSR was loyal to the Congress and its leadership and the Congress alone can claim his legacy. Nobody else has the right to call themselves as claimants of his legacy,” AICC general secretary Vayalar Ravi said. The event was attended among others by Digvijay Singh, Janardhan Dwivedi, Oscar Fernandes and Sushil Kumar Shinde while a contingent of over a dozen Ministers from the State, including AP Congress Committee president Botcha Satyanarayana and Rajya Sabha MP K. Chiranjeevi were also present. The show was put up by YSR’s man Friday K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao, who had released a pictorial book on the troubles that YSR braved during his marathon yatra. Interestingly, the Ministers, several of them known as staunch loyalists of Dr. Rao made a beeline to the capital in spite of a reported request from Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to avoid participating in the programme.

Dr. Rao is said to have organised the event as a show of strength and an effort to regain the powerful position he held as an advisor to YSR during his tenure .