HYDERABAD: YSR Congress Party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy Tuesday reached Nizamabad district for his fast in support of farmers amid sporadic protests by pro-Telangana groups.
Accompanied by a large number of supporters, the parliament member from Kadapa will sit on 48-hour fast in Armoor town, demanding that the government address problems of farmers.
Jagan, as the young leader is popularly known, faced protests at a few places but they were not as intense as seen during Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu's visit to Warangal district last week.
Jagan, who left Hyderabad in the morning, received warm welcome from his supporters at different places in Medak and Nizamabad districts. He garlanded statues of his father and late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and also offered prayers at a historic church in Medak.
Police kept leaders and legislators of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) under house arrest in Nizamabad and Medak district and rounded up dozens of activists as a precautionary measure. Protesters at some places burnt tyres and tried to stop Jagan's convoy.
The TRS and other pro-Telangana groups are opposing Jagan's visit on the ground that he has not made his stand clear on the demand for a separate Telangana state.
The TDP, however, has alleged that the TRS is supporting Jagan's fast in Nizamabad district. "There is match-fixing between the TRS and the YSR Congress," said TDP leader E. Dayakar Rao.
This is the first visit to Telangana by Jagan after he quit the Congress and floated the YSR Congress Party in late 2010.
Earlier, his attempt to visit the region to meet the families of those who committed suicide or died of shock following his father's death in a helicopter crash, had triggered violent protests from the TRS. He had also been arrested.
Jagan was one of the Congress MPs from Rayalaseema and Andhra regions who had opposed the demand for a separate Telangana state in parliament in early 2010.
However, the YSR Congress Party at its first plenary last year avoided taking a clear stand on the issue by saying it respected the sentiments of all regions of the state.
Jagan's party has already declared that it would not contest the upcoming by-elections to seven assembly seats in Telangana.