Even three years after the demise of YS Rajasekhara Reddy and even in the face of fierce demand from some powerful leaders and the Dharmana Prasada Rao Committee, Congress is unable to disown or shed his legacy.
This became amply evident on Sunday, the third death anniversary of the former chief minister.
Despite repeated appeals from some leaders in the state Congress Reddy, the ruling party observed the third death anniversary of late chief minister in a big way on Sunday, probably to keep YSR's supporters in the party in good humour and to win the hearts of various sections of voters who still revere the late chief minister.
Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana participated in a function held at YSR statue at Panjagutta and Union minister Veerappa Moily paid tributes to his erstwhile party colleague at Banjara Hills here.
Kiran and Botcha garlanded the statue of Rajasekhara Reddy at Punjagutta. Ministers Vatti Vasanth Kumar, Danam Nagender and Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy, and MPs KVP Ramachandra Rao and Undavalli Arun Kumar also paid tributes to the late leader.
Molily, accompanied by Botcha, Danam and KVP, garlanded the statue of Rajasekhara Reddy at City Centre in Banjara Hills. Later, Botcha and Danam proceeded to the PCC headquarters and participated in a programme organised there to commemorate YSR's death anniversary.
Addressing the gathering, the PCC chief recalled the services of the late chief minister to the Congress.
"YSR is still our leader. We remember him as long as Congress exists. He fought unrelentingly against the sufferings of downtrodden people. He was the man who brought the Congress to power by undertaking a 1,400-km walkathon," Botcha said.
Danam said it was not appropriate for the Congress to forget Rajasekhara Reddy who had brought it to power in 2004 and 2009 polls successively. No other leader could replace Rajasekhara Reddy in the Congress.
In Nalgonda, former minister Komatireddy Venkat Reddy burst into tears while recalling his association with the late chief minister. Participating in a function held to observe YSR's death anniversary, Komatireddy criticised those leaders in the Congress who are trying to erase the memories of Rajasekhara Reddy.
“It is not good to belittle YSR who had introduced several populist schemes for the welfare of the poor,'' he said.