A day after Congress MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy blamed Andhra Pradesh CM K. Rosaiah for last week’s violence in Telangana’s Warangal district, state party leaders seemed to be sidelining him.
This was in stark contrast to the overwhelming support Jagan had received from party members after the demise of his father, former chief minister Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy, in an air crash last year.
On Tuesday, Jagan’s one-time close aides defended Rosaiah’s handling of the ‘Odarpu yatra’ undertaken by Jagan and condemned his allegations against the government.
“We are with the Congress high command and party president Sonia Gandhiji. We are also with the chief minister (Rosaiah) and fully endorse the way the government handled the tour,” state Information Minister J. Geeta Reddy said, after a meeting with all the ministers earlier in the day.
Reddy had defied Congress advice against going ahead with the yatra, which ended in violence. Nine people were injured when gunmen of two Congress legislators loyal to Reddy opened fire on pro-Telangana activists protesting against his visit.
Reddy was arrested and sent back to Hyderabad.
But on Tuesday, after meeting Andhra Pradesh party in-charge Veerappa Moily in Hyderabad, Reddy claimed the party had given him the go-ahead to continue with the yatra.
But Moily denied it, saying he had expressly asked Reddy to put his plans on hold.
“He has been advised not go to the Telanagana region. This would be in the best interest of the party,” Moily said.
Andhra ministers dismissed Reddy’s charge that Rosaiah was responsible for the attack. “It is meaningless and irresponsible,” said Health Minister D. Nagender.
Several ministers also disapproved of Jagan’s “disrespectful” way of addressing the 76-year-old chief minister.
“Rosaiah is a senior leader. Jagan should have shown some respect while talking about him,” said Congress legislator M. Sashidhar Reddy.
Ironically, a majority of these ministers were signatories to the campaign last year to make Jagan as chief minister.
(With inputs from New Delhi)