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Cong raises eyebrow, Jagan remains defiant

The Congress on Monday conveyed its disapproval of YS Jaganmohan Reddy's recent campaign to whip up mass sympathy in the name of his father.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2010 02:07 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

The Congress on Monday conveyed its disapproval of YS Jaganmohan Reddy's recent campaign to whip up mass sympathy in the name of his father. The Kadapa MP's action was being seen as a defiant stand against the K Rosaiah regime in Andhra Pradesh.

The meetings Jaganmohan has sought with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee are unlikely to materialise. Among the leaders he met in Delhi on Monday was Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel.

It is learnt he has been told to meet Law Minister and party in-charge of AP Veerappa Moily on Tuesday. A top Congress leader, who met him, conveyed that his recent show of strength (visiting families whose kin allegedly immolated themselves after his father and former AP chief minister late YS Rajasekhar Reddy's death) hasn't gone down well with the party's central leadership.

Jaganmohan is believed to have dispelled speculation that he intended to play politics in his father's name and reaffirmed his loyalty to the party and the Gandhi family. He termed his 'Odarpu Yatra' an "emotional journey" he had promised to undertake from the crash site of his father's chopper.

Before meeting Patel, the MP struck a defiant note, saying he would go on with his yatra from Srikakulam on June 8 as per schedule. "Why should I abandon it? I am doing it in my personal capacity. This is minimum I could do for my father. If I abandon it I will cease to be my father's son," he told HT.

Despite Jaganmohan's defiance, the Congress is not in a hurry to take disciplinary action against him in view of the forthcoming Rajya Sabha elections. He is believed to enjoy the loyalty of 18 legislators.

The tie-up with Chiranjeevi has assured the Congress a support of 16 Praja Rajyam Party legislators, denting effectively any possible challenge by Jaganmohan's loyalists to resort to cross-voting in the RS polls.

But he sought to allay such fears. "Why should I do that? I have many enemies within the party. They are influential in Delhi and have managed to give misinformation."

Jaganmohan also refuted suggestions that he was battling chief minister K Rosaiah but described his government as non-performing. "I am not fighting with Rosaiah. I don't consider him a threat. I only believe and trust in Congress president," he said.