Congress MP Jaganmohan Reddy was arrested on Friday afternoon after his much-hyped Odarapu yatra (consoling tour) led to violence in Telangana districts including Andhra capital, Hyderabad, in which one person was reportedly killed and twelve injured.
Jagan, who is the only son of former chief minister, the late Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, and an aspirant for the CM’s post, was taken into custody by a large team of policemen from the coach of the Intercity Express train at Vangapalli station in Nalgonda district and brought back to Hyderabad.
Later, he was released on bail.
The MP who defied the party high command directive and went ahead with the trip seems to have antagonised not only politicians of all hues in Telangana but even a large section within the Congress party.
Some party MLAs including former minister R. Damodar Reddy have demanded that Jagan be expelled from the party. “He clearly violated the party discipline and it appears he has decided to fight with the high command,” Damodar said. “His stubborn attitude has led to the death of one Telangana activist and large-scale violence in Warangal.”
Earlier in the day, the railway station at Mahbubabad, 200 km from Hyderabad in Hyderabad-Vijayawada trunk route, where Jagan was to arrive to a planned grand welcome, witnessed battles involving Telangana activists and his supporters.
Shouting slogans of “Jaya Telangana” and “Jagan go back”, they pelted stones at the followers of Jagan, who retaliated in a similar manner. Two local MLAs, Konda Surekha and M. Kavitha, who were present to receive Jagan were not spared. The guards of the two legislators escorted them out while firing at the crowd, reportedly killing a student, Praful Raju (20).
The Congress’ central leadership has sought a report from the party’s Andhra-in-charge, Veerappa Moily.
However, Moily refused to comment on the issue, only saying it will be handled as a law and order problem by the state government.