Chief Minister not to tender any advice to MP on ‘Odarpu yatra'

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah on Friday regretted that Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy had not sought his advice on undertaking the ‘Odarpu yatra' on July 8 from Srikakulam district to meet those who died in shock after the death of former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

“Unless he seeks my advice, I am not prepared to tender any advice to him. He did not consult me,” Mr. Rosaiah told journalists here after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss, among other things, party strategy for the Assembly byelections in Telangana and finalisation of candidates' list.

When pointed out that last time he had claimed that Jagan was like his son and so he could advice him on the yatra, Mr. Rosaiah shot back: “Did I say that I am changing my statement? How can you presume things?”

On maintaining law and order during the yatra, he said that it would be taken care of whoever undertook any tour.

He denied that he had convened the Assembly session on July 8 on the birth anniversary of Rajasekhara Reddy to prevent Ministers and MLAs from attending the tour of Jagan. There was no restriction and whoever wanted to go with him could do so. The decision of the Cabinet (on Assembly session) was unanimous and there was no dissent or second thought from any quarter.

Mr. Rosaiah added that he too would like to speak on the floor of the House recalling his association with Rajasekhara Reddy.

On the Telangana bypolls, he said the Congress party need not work out any programme (on the separate State demand) to face the electorate as it was a 125-year-old party and not a State/district party.

Asked whether Ms. Gandhi would campaign for the polls, he said he did not think it was necessary for her to do electioneering. “We have enough number of Congress leaders in the State to take care of campaign.” Byelections are not new to Congress party. He too was unlikely to campaign “as Chief Ministers would normally not do that for byelections”.

On the case registered against TRS MP Vijayashanti vis-à-vis her provocative speech, he said the State government had no role to play and it was the decision of the Election Commission which was an independent body. “We can't influence the Commission. We don't do that,” he added.