Defiant Jagan resumes yatra

Vowing to dedicate his life to fulfil his father’s mission, Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy launched the second phase of his controversial “Odarpu” yatra from Itchapuram town on Thursday morning.

Senior state Congress leaders, including MLAs and ministers, were conspicuous by their absence as Jagan began his yatra in open defiance of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Sources said, however, that Rayalaseema Congress leaders were working behind the scenes and spending huge amounts to ensure that the yatra was a huge success.
The yatra’s purported aim is to console families of those who died after last year’s helicopter crash which killed Jagan’s father, former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy. “It is unbelievable you have so much love for my father,” Jagan said while addressing a large crowd at the Praja Prasthanam Vijayavatika, built to mark YSR’s famous 2003 padayatra which swept the Congress back to power in the state. “I am seeing my father in your eyes.”
Jagan arrived at the Itchapuram railway station at about 8.30 am. Later, he was taken in a huge rally to the Vijayavatika, where he cut a cake to observe his father’s birthday, which falls on July 8.
“It is a different experience to observe my father’s birth anniversary here and I will not forget it in my lifetime,” Jagan said. “I am proud to be his son and will dedicate my life to fulfil the mission launched by my father.” The yatra was meticulously organised with crowds greeting Jagan at all stations on the way, with a sea of people cheering him when his train reached Itchapuram station.
Though key leaders of the party were absent at the yatra, former MP Kanithi Viswanadham and former municipal chairman Vajja Babu Rao greeted him at Palasa station. At Itchapuram, Youth Congress district president Mamidi Srikanth, DCC general secretary K.L. Prasad and Srikakulam town president Simma Rajasekhar were also present.

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