Falling in line with the party's diktat, Congress MLAs and senior leaders stayed away from Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy's yatra to console the families of those who died or committed suicide in the wake of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's death in September last.

Mr. Jagan drew crowds all through his controversial tour that commenced from Itchapuram on the Andhra-Orissa border in Srikakulam district on Thursday but the absence of MLAs and MLCs impacted the turnout. It was at this town that YSR concluded his famous 1,600-km-long padayatra in 2003 that catapulted the Congress to power in the following year.

Ignoring the advice of Congress president Sonia Gandhi to bring all the bereaved families to one place and console them, the young MP reached the Itchapuram railway station where he was greeted by enthusiastic party workers. There was a minor stampede in which Municipal chairperson L. Swaramani and nine others were injured while an asbestos shed collapsed under the weight of the people atop it.

The ‘odarpu yatra' coincided with YSR's 61st birth anniversary which was celebrated across the State by the party and the government. Chief Minister K. Rosaiah led the tributes to the leader in the Assembly and later at a government function where he promised to continue YSR's legacy.