Unruffled by the sharp criticism by Telangana leaders for stripping Civil Supplies Minister D. Sridhar Babu of the Legislative Affairs portfolio and giving it to his loyalist S. Sailajanath, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy made light of the developments on Friday.

After the Assembly was adjourned for the day, Mr. Reddy was mobbed by journalists to seek his reaction to the resignation submitted by Mr. Babu.

Asked whether his office had received the letter, Mr. Reddy shot back with a question whether they were referring to the ‘love letter’.

To another question whether the decision had come as a bouncer for him, Mr. Reddy, a keen cricketer, said he was unable to understand the cricketing jargon. “I will talk to the media tomorrow,” he said.

Though the issue was expected to generate heat in the Assembly, nothing of that sort happened. Instead leaders from different parties were seen discussing it in the lobbies when the Assembly was adjourned twice. Telangana Congress leaders decried the unilateral action of the Chief Minister.

Botcha’s take

PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana said he had advised Mr. Babu against quitting the Cabinet. “Changing the portfolio is the prerogative of the Chief Minister. But, I feel that even if the portfolio is given to others, it is not going to make any major difference in the Assembly,” he said.

Minister for Labour Danam Nagender came to the support of Mr. Babu saying that every one in Telangana was disturbed by the developments.

“The Chief Minister should have informed him before shifting his portfolio,” he said. Former Minister J.C.Diwakar Reddy found nothing wrong in the stripping of Mr. Babu’s portfolio.

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