Congress MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy left for Srikakulam on Wednesday evening to resume his “Odarpu Yatra” from Thursday, coinciding with his father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s birth anniversary, even as Chief Minister K. Rosaiah asked his Cabinet colleagues and party legislators not to join him.
Mr. Rosaiah rushed to Delhi and met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and said that there was no threat to his government in view of the yatra.
The Congress also sought to downplay Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy’s move saying it was not worried about such an issue.
“There are far greater issues to deal with, like the Jammu and Kashmir situation and the economy. This is not an issue on which we are worried about. This is an issue of one MP,” party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters in Delhi.
Asked whether Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy had defied the party directive by undertaking the yatra, Ms. Natarajan said, “I am sure the MP knows what the party line is.”
She said the AICC in-charge of Andhra Pradesh M. Veerappa Moily (who is currently abroad) will look into the issue at the State level.
Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy boarded the Falaknuma Express at 4 pm at the Secunderabad railway station as scores of his cheering followers saw him off. None of the Congress MLAs, considered close to the rebellious MP, came to the railway station to see Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy off following his “instructions”.
Earlier, Mr. Rosaiah made it clear that his Cabinet colleagues and party legislators should not join the tour as the Congress high command has not given a nod to it.
“Whether or not to take part in the yatra is an individual choice but if any Minister, MLA or MLC indeed takes part in the yatra, it will be a clear violation of the high command,” Mr. Rosaiah told reporters in Hyderabad.
He said some of his Cabinet colleagues, MLAs and MLCs had approached him seeking his counsel on their participation in the yatra. “I told them clearly that they should not participate in the yatra as it did not have the Congress high command’s approval... If anyone violates this and takes part in the yatra, the party will deal with them appropriately.”
However, D. Sudheer Reddy, B. Raji Reddy and K. Srisailam Goud, all legislators from Hyderabad, and a few others from Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy’s native Kadapa district, met him at his residence here.
Talking to reporters, they said Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy’s yatra would not amount to defying the high command as it was his personal tour to console the families of those who died following the death of his father last year.
The high command did not ask Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy to abandon his plan to resume the tour, which was stopped following violent protests by pro-Telangana activists in May, they claimed.
Congress leader A. Rambabu, considered close to Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy, said the Kadapa MP would go ahead with his yatra as announced.
Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy would reach Ichapuram in Srikakulam district on Thursday to resume his journey. Notwithstanding party chief Sonia Gandhi’s reservations, Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy had on Monday announced his decision to resume his controversial yatra from July 8.
However, the Congress on Tuesday asked the young MP not to go ahead with his plan and threatened him with disciplinary action if he disobeyed.