Don't attend Jagan's yatra, Congress tells legislators

After directing party legislators not to attend the yatra, the  leadership, through Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, conveyed this to Mines Minister B. Srinivas Reddy.

Rosaiah spoke to the minister over the phone and told him that the high  command wants all party leaders to stay away from the yatra as it did not have the leadership's permission.

The minister, however, made it clear that he would participate in the  yatra. "The minister's post is not permanent. I enjoy special relations with the family of (late chief minister) Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy," he told reporters, hinting that he was even ready to sacrifice the post to stand with Jagan.

The Congress leadership sees Jagan's yatra as an attempt by the young MP to mobilize the support of legislators to topple the Rosaiah government.

Congress legislators from Prakasam, on their return from New Delhi,  told reporters here Thursday that Congress president Sonia Gandhi's  political secretary Ahmed Patel told them not to participate in the  yatra. Two legislators said they would take a decision only after  consultations with their followers.

The leadership, through central ministers Pannabaka Lakshmi and D.  Purandareswari, conveyed to party legislators in Prakasam that Jagan's yatra was not in the interest of the party and hence they should stay away.

Purandareswari Thursday called on Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi to discuss Jagan's yatra, which is aimed at consoling the families of those who died of shock following his father's death in a helicopter crash last year.

In a brief statement later, Purandareswari said Sonia Gandhi was for conducting a yatra under the banner of the party. "She wants that  YSR's statue be unveiled in each district headquarter where the families of the deceased be called and be given financial  assistance," she said.

Sonia Gandhi had mooted the idea during a meeting with Jagan and his mother Vijayalakshmi in June but the Kadapa MP ignored this.

Last month, he visited dozens of villages of Srikakulam and East  Godavari district during 20-day long "odarpu yatra".

Minister for Social Justice P. Subhash Chandrabose and 25 legislators  had shared the dais with Jagan on July 29 at a rally, which marked the culmination of the yatra.

Addressing the meeting, Jagan had told the leadership that he was  running out of patience. He was referring to the action being taken  against his loyalists.

Jagan plans to address a public meeting at Tirupati on Sep 2, the first  death anniversary of YSR. The next day, he will launch the yatra in Prakasam district.

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