Telangana Cong MPs attack Jagan

New Delhi: Attacking Y S Jaganmohan Reddy for his defiant attitude, Congress MPs from Telangana region today said people who go against party chief Sonia Gandhi and her directives have "no place" in the party.

Bringing to the fore fissures in the already divided Andhra Pradesh Congress unit yet again, the MPs, including those who were once considered close to Jagan, said they will always stand behind Sonia Gandhi and not by "any individual."

"We were elected to Lok Sabha by people because of the party, its symbol and President Sonia Gandhi and not because of (late Chief Minister) Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. We will stand by the party and its chief, not by any individual," Nizamabad MP Madhu Goud Yaskhi told a press conference here that was attended by several party MPs from the region.

The comments assume significance in the wake of Jagan planning to go ahead with the third phase of his controversial 'Odarpu' yatra from Prakasam district on September 3.

Karimnagar MP Ponnam Prabhakar, who was at the forefront of the 'Jagan for CM' campaign in September last year after Rajasekhara Reddy's death, said all MPs from Telangana region were with Sonia Gandhi.

"We are with madam Sonia Gandhi," he said. Their comments also come after some MLAs publicly claimed that they were elected by the people in last elections due to Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and not because of the party.

Asked whether their attack is aimed at Jagan, Yaskhi, a known detractor of Rajashekara Reddy, said "whoever goes against the party -- be it Jaganmohan or his supporters -- have no place."

To a question whether they want party high command to take action against Jagan, he said, "We are not here to give directions to the party. The high command is seized of the matter and we won't interfere in that."

Jagan, the 38-year-old first-time MP from Kadapa, had defied party's directive by going ahead with the second leg of his yatra last month. Gandhi had advised him against going ahead with the yatra, but Jagan went ahead.

The MPs also said none of them will participate in Jagan's yatra if at all he comes to the Telangana region to meet the families of those who either allegedly committed suicide or died of shock after hearing the news of death of Rajasekhara Reddy on September 2, 2009 in a chopper crash.

The attack by the MPs also show the growing gap between lawmakers from Telangana and other parts of Andhra Pradesh over the separate statehood issue.

Last week, Telangana Congress MPs refused to share table with their counterparts from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra at a dinner hosted by Law Minister and party in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Veerappa Moily.