Deputy CM, Jana among those who skip dinner in honour of 14th Finance Commission Chairman

Eleven Ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Raj Narasimha and Panchayat Raj Minister K. Jana Reddy, stayed away from the meeting and dinner hosted by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy in honour of the Chairman of the14th Finance Commission in the city on Wednesday night.

Interestingly, six out of the 11 Ministers who did not attend were from Telangana while the remaining are from Seemandhra region. These Ministers included Ponnala Lakshmaiah, G. Prasada Kumar, Danam Nagender, R. Venkat Reddy, S. Vijayarama Raju, Galla Aruna, T.G. Venkatesh, Ganta Srinivasa Rao and C. Ramachandraiah.

Sources in the Chief Minister’s office said some of them like Prasada Kumar, Vijayarama Raju, Galla Aruna, Venkat Reddy and Ponnala had informed Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy about their inability to attend the meeting.

Curiously, J. Geetha Reddy, D. K. Aruna, D. Sridhar Babu, V. Sunita Laxma Reddy, Mukesh Goud, N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and P. Sudarshan Reddy were present.

The meeting was organised by the Chief Minister ahead of the 14 Finance Commission meeting on Thursday to put forth the State government’s demands. In a bid to bridge the gap between the Telangana and Seemandhra Ministers, Mr. Reddy had sent personal invites to his colleagues through his officials.

Sources said that majority of the Telangana Ministers including Mr. Damodar Raj Narasimha and Mr Jana Reddy have not taken kindly to the open support extended by the Chief Minister to the Samaikyandhra agitation. Both Mr. Damodar and Mr. Jana Reddy very much in the city, but preferred to skip the meeting and dinner.

The Telanagna Ministers are said to be of the firm belief that the ‘Save Andhra Pradesh’ rally had the tacit support of Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy.

It is understood that these Ministers were afraid that attending such a meeting would send wrong signal to the people in the region. On Tuesday too, the Telangana Ministers were not keen on appealing to the Chief Minister to cooperate in the creation of Telangana State.