Violence breaks in Andhra over Jagan’s Telangana tour

Violence breaks in Andhra over Jagan’s Telangana tour

Hyderabad: Violence broke out across Andhra Pradesh on Friday following the tour of Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, Parliament member and son of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, in the tension-ridden Telangana region, defying the diktat of Congress high command.

Several civilians and policemen were injured and properties were damaged in the clashes and stone pelting between the groups supporting and opposing Jagan’s tour in the region and firing by gunmen of elected representatives.

Following this, Jagan was taken into preventive custody by the police in Vangapally station when he was on his way to Mahaboobabad from Hyderabad in a train. Earlier, right from the morning when he started his tour, several groups of pro-Telangana agitators tried to impede his tour.

The Telangana Joint Action Committee has given a call for shutdown of Telangana region on Saturday, while Congress cadres gave a call for shutdown of some districts in the state immediately on Friday itself. Suspected followers of Jagan torched a stationed passenger train in temple town of Tirupati.

Jagan has been on ‘Odarpu Yatra’ (tour to console family members of those ended lives following sudden demise of YS Rajasekhara Reddy) for the last couple of months and his six-day tour of Telangana region was to begin at Mahaboobabad on Friday.

The tour is being termed by the political analysts as a strategy of Jagan, who had aspired and failed to emerge as the successor to his father, to attempt a political showdown before the Congress high command and also gain popularity in the state.

“The tour has really helped Jagan gain fresh ground and also significant popularity across the state. Of course, it has also caused discomfort to many Congress and separatist leaders in Telangana region, who apprehended that Jagan’s tour may weaken the statehood movement," said political analyst C. Narasimha Rao.

Rao also said the Friday’s developments are likely to help TRS regain its lost ground in the region through fresh rounds of agitations.

Some MLAs from the Telangana region belonging to Jagan’s camp held the chief minister K. Rosaiah responsible for the failure of law and order and demanded his resignation on moral grounds.

However, senior Congress leaders and MPs from the Telangana region including K. Keshava Rao and Madhu Yashki Goud found fault with Jagan and held him responsible for the deteriorated law and order situation in the region, which was coming to normalcy of late after the violence amidst statehood movement.

A senior Congress leader, who did not want to be named, said the Congress core committee, which is scheduled to meet on Friday evening, is likely to take note of the defiance by Jagan and serve show cause notice for initiating disciplinary action.

Immediately after being arrested, Jagan vowed that he would tour the Telangana region once normal conditions prevailed. Saying that TRS seems to be apprehensive of its prospects in the ensuing by-elections in the Telanagana region with his tour, Jagan said he will now tour the region after the bye elections.

State director general of police, R.R. Girish Kumar, said 10 members were injured when the gunmen of Congress MLAs opened fire at the mobs that resorted to stone pelting on the MLAs at Mahaboobabad railway station. Eight policemen and six civilians were injured also injured in the stone pelting by the clashing groups.