“I feel Mr. Jaipal Reddy and others did not want our presence at the programmes so we did not go there”
Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy’s day-long tour of Kalwakurthy constituency in Mahabubnagar district on Sunday created a further rift in the Congress with district Minister D.K.Aruna and other ruling party legislators staying away from his programmes.
With Panchayat Raj Minister K.Jana Reddy and Major Irrigation Minister P. Sudarshan Reddy in tow, the Union Minister laid the foundation stones for the Rs 150 crore drinking water scheme and third phase of Mahatma Gandhi Kalwakurthy lift irrigation scheme.
Barring Nagarkurnool MP Manda Jagannath and former Minister G. Chinna Reddy, other Mahabubnagar Congress leaders ignored the function.
While Mr. Jaipal Reddy and the Ministers were on a whirlwind tour of Kalwakurthy constituency, Ms. Aruna distributed cheques to the displaced people, whose lands were acquired for the Nettampad project in her Gadwal constituency.
Sources said Ms. Aruna and other district Congress leaders were upset with the way the programmes were organised in Kalwakurthy by the aides of Mr. Jaipal Reddy. They lamented that neither Ms. Aruna nor other district Congress leaders were properly informed about the programmes, which were planned by the Panchayat Raj and Major Irrigation Department officials on the directions of the two Ministers.
Talking to The Hindu, Ms. Aruna said a routine fax message was sent to her office from the Panchayat Raj Minister’s peshi informing her about Mr. Jana Reddy’s visit.
“I feel Mr. Jaipal Reddy and others did not want our presence at the programmes so we did not go there. His programme has left the party in the district divided. In fact, we had appealed to the Chief Minister to attend these programmes in Kalwakurthy and Achampet constituencies as demanded by local people,” she remarked.
On the other hand, sources close to the two Ministers who accompanied Mr. Jaipal Reddy said: “Courtesy demands that Ms. Aruna and others attend the programmes respecting Mr. Jaipal Reddy’s seniority. There was no way the programme could be postponed. The Chief Minister was not scheduled to attend the programmes, as claimed by Ms. Aruna and others.”
Ironically, the programme was attended by two TDP MLAs – Jaipal Yadav (Kalwakurthy) and P.Ramulu (Achampet).