The police in Warangal district recovered 10 kgs of explosives attached to a timer at Mahbubabad bus stand on Thursday, a day before the controversial tour of Kadapa Member of Parliament Y S Jaganmohan Reddy to the region, amid strong opposition from almost all the political parties.
Even as Jaganmohan Reddy and his supporters insisted on going ahead with the Odarpu Yatra to console the families whose members died in shock following former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's unfortunate death in a helicopter crash on September 1, 2009, the state government was trying to persuade him to postpone it.
Warangal district superintendent of police Shahnawaz Qasim said that the explosives were kept in a small bucket covered in a gunny bag on platform no. 4, and was found by the police around 1.30 pm. A bomb disposal squad rushed to the place and defused the bomb after getting the bus stand vacated and cordoning it off.
The bag also had a letter purportedly written by a little heard organisation Telangana Liberation Army, threatening that if Jagan goes ahead with his yatra, his convoy will be blasted with the explosives.
Jagan is scheduled to start his visit of Warangal district from Mahbubabad after reaching there by a train from Hyderabad. His schedule includes visiting seven families whose members had died on shock while mourning the death of YSR.
Jagan has undertaken similar visits of coastal Andhra and Rayalseema.
But ever since the Warangal visit was planned, he is facing strong opposition from Telangana supporters, because Jagan has come out openly against the formation of a separate Telangana state.
Telangana supporters rising above party affiliations have warned that they will stop and disrupt the yatra. Many from with the Congress have also come out against the yatra. Five Congress MPs from Telangana, including Rajaiah of Warangal, met Union minister and All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh M Veerappa Moily, and urged him that the party should stop Jagan from going ahead with the yatra, as it will send a wrong signal to the Telangana people. Moily, however, refused to make any comment.
But in Hyderabad, Chief Minister K Rsoaiah said that the party high command has not granted permission to the yatra. He said police will act according to the law during the yatra. However, in Warangal, superintendent of police Shahnawaz Qasim said that nobody has so far applied for permission for the yatra.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K Chandrasekhara Rao has warned that if Jagan undertakes the Yatra, it will create a war-like situation in entire Telangana. Local units of Telugu Desam Party, Bharatiya Janata Party and various other organisations were also opposed to the yatra.
The joint action committees of Osmania University and Kakatiya University have threatened to lay a siege of Warangal if Jagan comes there.
There was also a flurry of activity in the state government and the Congress party underlining that Jagan's yatra had created a difficult situation for the leadership. CM Rosiah held separate meetings with the state Congress president D Srinivas and several ministers. Sources said that the dominant feeling in the party was that Jagan should put off his visit.
State home minister Sabita Indra Reddy and agriculture minister N Raghuveera Reddy, both YSR loyalists, met Jagan to persuade him to cancel the visit. But Jagan did not respond to their request. Later the home minister held a meeting with the state police chief RR Girish Kumar and Intelligence chief Mahindar Reddy to discuss the situation.
On the other hand, Jagan loyalists, especially former minister from Warangal Konda Surekha, said that the yatra will definitely take place and no body will be able to stop it. She urged Jagan not to put off it, saying it will cause embarrassment to his supporters.