Efforts are on by Telangana Congress leaders and others to pacify Andhra Pradesh Minister for Civil Supplies D.Sridhar Babu, who was stripped of his Legislative Affairs portfolio, and relent from his decision to quit from the Cabinet.
AICC secretary R.C.Khuntia, who came here to participate in a programme organised by Rajya Sabha member V. Hanumantha Rao in Amangal in Mahabubnagar district on Thursday, interacted with Mr. Babu and persuaded him not to take any hasty decision till the issue was sorted out.
Panchayat Raj Minister, K.Jana Reddy, briefed Mr. Khuntia on his arrival here from Delhi, about the feelings of the Civil Supplies Minister for being abruptly divested of his portfolio and his insistence on quitting the Kiran Kumar Reddy Cabinet.
Mr. Babu met the AICC functionary and was closeted with him for some time. "I would not have been hurt if the Chief Minister had sounded me about his decision to change my portfolio. The manner in which I was divested of the portfolio amid the Assembly session was unnecessary," he was quoted as telling Mr. Khuntia.
There was speculation that Mr. Babu would fax his resignation letter to the Chief Minister on Thursday but there was no word yet. He accompanied the AICC secretary to Amangal along with Mr. Jana Reddy. Mr. Khuntia is reportedly contacting his party's leaders in Delhi to dissuade the Minister from resigning.
Interestingly, Mr. Khuntia told reporters that it was the prerogative of the Chief Minister to change the portfolios of his Ministers but refused to elaborate.
Telangana Congress leaders are angry at what they perceive is the unilateral decision of the Chief Minister and are gearing up to take up the issue in the Assembly when it resumes work on Friday.
Even as the T-Congress leaders continued to raise their voice against his action, Mr. Kiran Reddy unmindful of the furore, held discussion with the State Government employees to finalise the quantum of interim relief payable to them.