The Congress high command has warned Cabinet ministers in the state against participating in the Kadapa MP, Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Odarpu yatra.
Mr Ahmed Patel, the political secretary to the Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, sent word to all the ministers telling them that any one of them violating the diktat will be doing so at his or her own risk and indicating that they were likely to lose their jobs.
However, at least three ministers, two from East Godavari where Mr Reddy’s yatra is going on, have stated that they will participate in it whenever it reaches their native constituencies.
In a clear act of defiance, the minister for BC welfare, Mr Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose, on Friday night participated in Mr Reddy’s tour from Samalkot in the district that falls under Peddapuram Assembly segment.
A close relative of Mr Reddy, the mines minister, Mr Balineni Srinivasulu Reddy, had on Thursday announced that he would accompany Mr Reddy on his Odarpu yatra in Prakasam district in August.
Talking to this correspondent on Friday, some ministers have confirmed the latest diktat from the party high command.
When the defiant attitude of some ministers was brought to Mr Patel’s notice on Thursday, he reportedly expressed anger and immediately sent word to the ministers telling them that their participation in the yatra would be viewed seriously.
Though for the record, the Rajahmundry MP and senior leader of the party, Mr Undavalli Arun Kumar, who paid a courtesy visit to Mr Reddy two days ago denied reports that he was snubbed by the party high command, sources said the inside story was totally different. Mr Patel had telephoned Mr Arun Kumar and chided him for his participation.
According to sources, the high command felt that if it reined in the ministers a message will also go out to MLAs that those who associate themselves with Mr Reddy will not be favoured.