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We didn’t give permission to Jagan: Congress

New Delhi: The Congress has denied permitting Jagan Mohan Reddy to continue with his controversial tour of Andhra Pradesh. The party’s statement comes hours after Reddy told reporters in Delhi that senior leader Veerappa Moily had expressed his appreciation of the tour and that he had allowed Reddy to resume the trip.

Reddy is the son of former Andhra Chief Minister YSR Reddy. He is also the Congress MP from Kadapa. Insistence on touring his home state has become a serious stress test between the party and him. Reddy describes the tour as an apolitical one. He is visiting families whose members died, allegedly unable to cope with the shock of his father’s death in September last year.

Jagan Mohan was summoned to Delhi on Monday to explain why he defied party orders by trying to tour Telangana last week. The region is politically sensitive because of the overwhelming local demand for a separate state – a demand that Jagan Mohan has opposed. When he arrived in Warangal last week, violence erupted, with anti-Jagan demonstrators clashing with the police.

Moily’s version of his meeting with Jagan Mohan is radically different from what the latter shared with the media. “My advice to Jagan is to refrain from the yatra at all. I told this to Jagan after I heard him say to channels that he will go to non- Telangana regions. Rest is upto him,” he said.

Earlier, Jagan Mohan had expressed the hope that he would meet with party president Sonia Gandhi to explain his stand. “My heart is free of guilt,” he had said, adding that he had tremendous respect for and faith in Sonia Gandhi.

Congress sources say the fact that Sonia Gandhi has not met with Jagan Mohan expresses the party leadership’s unhappiness with YSR’s son.

Jagan Mohan has also slammed the chief minister K Rosaiah, blaming him for not doing enough to prevent the violence in Warangal during Jagan Mohan’s trip.

“It is my faith and my affection towards Madam that is primarily important. It wouldn’t make any difference to me whether it is Rosaiah or anyone else. The way Rosaiah handled the situation is not acceptable,” Jagan said.

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