Rajahmundry: YSR Congress Party President Y S Jaganmohan Reddy on Tuesday blamed Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for the stampede at the Pushkar ghat in Rajahmundry and said that he should quit on moral grounds taking full responsibility for the incident.
Twenty seven pilgrims, 23 of them women, died in a stampede on Tuesday on the banks of the Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh on the first day of a major religious festival Godavari Pushkaralu.
"The Saraswati ghat was reserved for VIPs but Chandrababu Naidu has opted to offer puja at the main Pushkar ghat and it was blocked for two-and-a-half hours for the devotees.
"When the barricades were removed, there was sudden surge as the devotees were waiting for long," the Leader of Opposition alleged.
He said there was no need for Chandrababu Naidu to be at the Pushkar ghat, which is meant for general public, as separate arrangements were made at the Saraswati ghat for the VIPs.
"For the sake of publicity or whatever, he opted to offer puja at the main ghat which is meant for general public," Reddy claimed.
With Chief Minister at the main ghat, officials became over cautious and blocked all the ways as devotees, who came from distant places, started to became restless, he claimed.
Once the barricades were opened, the devotees rushed in which resulted in a stampede, Reddy said.
"The ordering of a judicial inquiry is just an eyewash. You cannot bring the visiting devotees as witnesses. Chief Minister should own responsibility and quit," he said.
Updated Date: Jul 14, 2015 19:53:11 IST