Jagan resumes yatra, attracts huge crowds
Kadapa MP Jagan Reddy Thursday began his controversial Odarpu yatra defying Congress diktat.
Hyderabad: Ignoring the warning by the Congress leadership, party MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy Thursday began his `Odarpu` yatra in Andhra Pradesh`s Srikakulam district, attracting huge crowds.
Thousands lined up both sides of the streets and stood on rooftops to welcome Jagan at the start of his three-day campaign in Itchapuram town.
The Kadapa MP unveiled a statue of his late father and former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on his birth anniversary and paid floral tributes to him at the site where YSR ended his 68-day `padyatra` in 2003.
The young leader briefly addressed the massive crowds before setting out to console families of those who died of shock following YSR`s death.
Addressing people in a style which reminded of his father, Jagan was visibly impressed by the huge turnout. "I am not alone. My father has left behind such a huge family," he said amid loud cheers.
Jagan made no reference to the Congress leadership, which has warned him of disciplinary action for starting the yatra. Party president Sonia Gandhi had advised him against resuming the yatra.
Chief Minister K. Rosaiah has asked his cabinet colleagues and legislators to stay away from Jagan`s tour.
Changing tack Wednesday evening, Rosaiah said in New Delhi that the leadership was not against the yatra but the manner in which it was being conducted.
"The yatra should be one of condolence and not like a victory march," Rosaiah said, indicating that the high command had softened its stand.
Sources close to Jagan said he was prepared to face any action as he felt the yatra was his duty as a son to console families of those who died due to shock after his father`s death.
The leadership appears worried over the possibility of Jagan emerging powerful in the party. After YSR`s death last year, the followers of Jagan wanted to make him the chief minister but the leadership declined to.
Jagan has already visited a couple of districts to console some families. However, his attempt to visit Warangal district in Telangana May 28 despite a warning by tje leadership and protests by pro-Telangana groups triggered violence.