Telangana Congress leaders’ efforts to pacify him fail

Spurning the efforts by Telangana Congress leaders and others to pacify him, Minister for Civil Supplies D. Sridhar Babu, who was stripped of his Legislative Affairs portfolio, on Thursday night submitted his resignation from the Kiran Kumar Reddy Cabinet.

According to highly placed sources, Mr. Babu forwarded his resignation letter to the Chief Minister through a messenger. “The letter has been handed over in Chief Minister’s office,” the sources said.

All through the day, leaders tried to persuade him to drop the idea of quitting. AICC secretary R. C. Khuntia, who came here to participate in a programme organised by V. Hanumantha Rao, MP, in Mahabubnagar district also persuaded the Minister not to take any hasty decision.

Panchayat Raj Minister K. Jana Reddy, briefed Mr. Khuntia about the feelings of the Minister after he was abruptly divested of his portfolio and his insistence on quitting.

Mr. Sridhar Babu told Mr. Khuntia that he would not have taken the issue to heart had the Chief Minister sounded him out on changing his portfolio. It was the manner in which it was done, that too in the midst of the Assembly session, that had hurt him.

Later, Mr. Babu was closeted with his supporters to discuss the future course. Ministers – P. Balaraju, Kondru Murali and Prasada Kumar — also met him night in a last-ditch attempt to assuage his feelings. 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.