Chief Minister targeting Union Minister out of insecurity and as he belongs to Telangana: Jaipal supporters

The Congress party appears to be a divided house after Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s observation that Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas S. Jaipal Reddy should do his bit to get gas allocated for two power projects in Telangana.

The press release from the Chief Minister’s office on Sunday triggered a fresh wave of mutual acrimony between the supporters of Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy and Mr. Jaipal Reddy. The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas also entered into the picture saying that decisions on gas allocation were made by the EGOM and not the Union Minister alone.

The root cause for the present trouble was allotment of 2 MMSCMD (million metric standard cubic metre per day) gas to Ratnagiri project in Maharashtra, a decision that was reversed after the Chief Minister met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Some Congress leaders are irked over the Chief Minister’s decision to target Mr. Jaipal Reddy. All through the week, an impression was created by the pro-Kiran group that the Union Minister had failed to protect the State’s interests.

Congress leaders from Telangana accused the Chief Minister of shedding crocodile tears for Shankarpally and Nedunur projects in Ranga Reddy and Karimnagar districts respectively. “Without spending a single rupee on these projects, he is trying to target the Union Minister because he hails from Telangana,” said Karimnagar MP Ponnam Prabhakar.

K. Yadava Reddy, MLC, a follower of Mr. Jaipal Reddy, said the Chief Minister was targeting the Union Minister out of fear of losing his position. By showing Mr. Jaipal Reddy in bad light, Mr. Kiran Kumar is trying to scuttle his chances of becoming the Chief Minister, another leader from Telangana said.

Meeting skipped

The growing rift between the two leaders was evident when they chose to skip a meeting organised by Rajya Sabha member V. Hanumantha Rao at Gandhi Bhavan here on Saturday. Mr. Rao himself remarked that the differences between Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy and Mr. Jaipal Reddy may have resulted in their absence. He indirectly faulted the Chief Minister stating that if there was any grievance, he could have taken up the matter with the high command.

However, former Minister J. Chittaranjan Das Mr. Jaipal Reddy of doing nothing for the development of his constituency as well as the State.