Union Law Minister and AICC general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh affairs M. Veerappa Moily said on Wednesday that no decision had been taken on the issue of making Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy Chief Minister, even as Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s advisor K.V.P. Ramchandra Rao met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the capital on Wednesday.
During the 30-minute meeting, Dr. Rao is said to have apprised Dr. Singh of the advantages to the party if Mr. Jagan was made Chief Minister.
He pointed out that the party, particularly the legislature wing, would be intact as YSR’s son could effectively counter the challenge posed by the Telugu Desam and the Praja Rajyam.
Dr. Rao said the Prime Minister enquired about the health of YSR’s wife, Vijayalakshmi, and advised him to stand by the family in its hour of crisis. He did not, however, throw light on the political side of their discussion.
Two days of intense lobbying in New Delhi by influential Congress leaders on the Jagan issue has not cut ice with the central leadership. State Congress leaders are unable to gauge the line of thinking of the AICC leadership, particularly Sonia Gandhi, in spite of their claim that as many as 152 of the 154 party MLAs and 40 of its 46 MPs, including those of the Rajya Sabha, are in favour of Jagan.
Delegations of YSR loyalists separately met Ms. Gandhi and other AICC office bearers. Senior MPs — K.S. Rao and Rayapati Sambasiva Rao — told reporters that they had made a strong pitch in favour of Mr. Jagan. Another delegation of MPs led by Convenor of the A.P. Congress MPs’ Forum Ponnam Prabhakar said there was an overwhelming demand in the party to name Mr. Jagan Reddy YSR’s successor, but promised to abide by the high command’s decision.
Congress leaders in Hyderabad are eagerly awaiting the AICC’s word on the leadership issue — whether a Core Committee would be constituted to consider the demand to make Jagan Chief Minister or when a meeting of the Legislature Party would be convened to elect a leader.