Jaganmohan Reddy, whose supporters are campaigning for making him the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday broke his silence on the succession issue saying it should be left to the high command for a decision.
In a veiled reference to his supporters' demand, 36-year-old Jagan said party chief Sonia Gandhi respects public perception and feelings of lakhs of Congress Party workers and will take a decision in such a way that his father Rajasekhara Reddy's ideals, mission and zeal would not be compromised.
"Our high command knows and more particularly our beloved leader Sonia Gandhi respects the public perception and feelings of lakhs of Congress Party workers and she knows too well what is good for all of us and what is good for our state and people," Jagan, who arrived here today from Idupulapaya, two days after last rites for his late father, said in a four-page message to party leaders and workers.
"I request you to wait the decision of Ms Sonia Gandhi, President, AICC on the issue of leadership and also urge you to abide the decision".
Gandhi will take a decision in such a way that Rajasekhara Reddy's "ideals, mission and zeal would not be compromised in any manner", he said.
The first-time MP from Kadapa recalled "the outstanding love and affection" shown by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia for his father.
Jagan said he was particularly grateful to Sonia Gandhi "for her immense support and help to my father at all crucial times. She stood like a rock behind my father and supported him wholeheartedly throughout his career."
"It is really a tribute to Late Rajiv Gandhi that he could spot talent in my father and it was late Ms Indira Gandhi, who appointed him at the age of 33 year as the President of APCC," Jagan said.
"It is equally important to note that Ms Sonia Gandhi had chosen my father as President of APCC in 1998, as Leader of Opposition in 1999, as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in 2004 and 2009."
He said the family was moved by the extraordinary affection and love shown by all. But "we are greatly pained to see hundreds of people losing their lives unable to bear the untimely demise of their most beloved leader", he said while referring to reports to some people committing suicide in the state.
"We cannot afford to lose our heart and become panicky," he said, adding the best way of paying tribute "is by carrying on his mantle and by making sure that all his programmes and ideologies are carried on and completed".
Jagan said in his message that during the last meeting of the party August 27, his father clearly mentioned that his main task and dream is to make the Congress Party to form the government on its own in 2014 general elections and to make Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister of the country.
"Every Congress worker knows that it is the tradition of party to leave the decision of leadership to the high command and our beloved leader Ms Sonia Gandhi," the message said.