Thursday, September 2, 2010
Thousands led by Congress leader, Jagan Mohan Reddy paid tribute to Dr Y S Rajashekhar Reddy who was killed in a chopper crash exactly a year back at the Nallamalla Hills of Andhra Pradesh.
Jagan along with his mother Vijayalakshmi paid homage to the late leader at their family estate in Idupalayapalya where YSR was laid to rest. It was a quiet affair at first at the family estate but as the day progresses more people are likely to reach there from all parts of the state to pay their respects.
Jagan who will continue with his yatra in the evening will however not take part in any of the state sponsored programmes. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, K Rosaiah has also cancelled all programmes stating that he is down with viral fever. Rosaiah was to take part in the condolence meeting at Hyderabad and also unveil a 20 feet statue of Dr YSR at Nallamalla Hills where the chopper crashed. However this will be now undertaken by MLA, Shilpa Mohan Reddy. Jagan will however not take part in these programmes.
At the family estate a huge memorial is being erected which will be unveiled at a later stage by the family members. Alongside the same, a memorial in the name of those persons who lost their lives following the death of YSR is also being erected. This memorial will have the names of all those persons who lost their lives engraved on it. The family members will also feed 1 lakh people today and Jagan later during the day will personally visit the families of those persons who lost their lives.
The roads that lead up to the estate of YSR were jammed and there was hectic activity. Special buses have been arranged from all parts of the state to take followers to the family estate to pay their tributes.
The Congress which was expected to split following Jagan’s defiance to go ahead with his yatra has however decided to put up a united front. A close aide of Jagan when asked as to why the leader will not participate in the state sponsored programmes said that there is no agenda in this move. He wants to be with his family and also with the families of those who lost their lives following the death of the leader. Moreover many cabinet ministers including state minority affairs Minister Ahmedullah will be attending the rituals at the family estate and this is an indication that there is no split. Veerappa Moily who is in charge of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister of state for steel, Sai Pratap are also scheduled to visit the family estate later after taking part in the condolence meeting at Andhra Pradesh. Jagan will continue with this yatra at the end of the day.
A year after the death of YSR, the sentiment appears to be intact. Although it is hard to tell whether the supporters have been brought in or have come on their own, there are many who still believe that YSR was the best leader that they have had. There are a lot of them who also feel that there is no better than Jagan to succeed him.
However there are a lot in the state who are not impressed with the statue erection frenzy that has been going on. Till date an estimated of 600 statues have been erected and Rs 1 lakh has been spent on each one of them. Some feel that more focus should have been given to developmental works rather than erect statues. However none seem to be listening and today sources say at least 100 of them will be erected across the state including the one at the crash site which is sponsored by the state.