In the first open attack on the leadership since resuming his yatra on Thursday, the young MP claimed that ministers and legislators wanted to accompany him but were being prevented from doing so.
"What crime I have committed? I am asking you if it is justified to ask ministers and legislators not to accompany me," said Jagan, without naming Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, who asked his cabinet colleagues and legislators not to join the yatra.
The Kadapa MP was addressing a road show at Veerghattam in Srikakulam district as part of his yatra which he resumed on Thursday in open defiance of the party leadership. The remarks came as none of the 17 party legislators who were likely to join his yatra on Saturday turned up.
Jagan is on a three-day tour to console families of those who died of shock following the death of his father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) in a helicopter crash last year. “Were they (those who died for YSR) not Congress workers? Has anybody (from Congress party) consoled their families? Their only crime was that they loved Rajasekhara Reddy,” said Jagan to loud cheers from the crowd.
Jagan alleged that no legislator was allowed to visit his constituency on the birth anniversary of his father on Thursday. He was apparently referring to the government turning down his demand for not holding a legislature session on the birth anniversary to enable legislators to participate in celebrations. Enthused by massive turnout at his road shows and cashing in on the huge public sympathy, Jagan has started targeting the leadership and appeared set for a showdown. The young MP on Friday said that within few months after his father’s death, the state politics had hit rock-bottom.
But he refrained from criticising Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who had advised him not to undertake the yatra. The central leadership, which had threatened disciplinary action against him, maintained its silence.