State leaders, however, want a popular government to run the show till the elections

Congress party’s Central leadership is said to be reluctant to buy the argument of the Seemandhra party leaders against the imposition of President’s rule and install a popular government.

After N. Kiran Kumar Reddy quit as the Chief Minister, Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan is said to have sent a report on the prevailing political situation. It is understood that he had recommended President’s rule in the State. A decision on whether or not President’s rule would be imposed is to be taken on Friday. The overwhelming mood among the State Congress leaders is to get a popular government installed till elections are held.

In between, they too want the Centre to postpone the elections to the State Assembly by six months so that the party can make determined efforts to contain the damage the bifurcation decision has cast. They feel that President’s rule may only aggravate the party’s plight in the region where people see the ruling party as the culprit.

Party sources said that during the meeting of Seemandhra leaders with AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, the issue of installing a new government cropped up. It was pointed out that PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana tried to impress upon the Central leadership that a Chief Minister should be elected and elections to the Assembly be postponed for six months.

It is believed that some leaders had insisted that a Kapu should be made the Chief Minister keeping in view their influence on elections. They claimed that there were 27 per cent Kapus in the State, who would pitch for the Congress, if one of the influential leaders was installed as the Chief Minister. Names of Union Minister K. Chiranjeevi, Kanna Lakshminarayana, Botcha Satyanarayana and M. M. Pallam Raju are doing the rounds. Mr. Singh, it was said, was sceptical about the plea, wondering whether a new government was necessary when election notification was likely to be issued in a week’s time.