The Congress leadership is yet to begin the process of selecting a successor to Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who died in a helicopter crash on September 2, Union Minister for Law and Justice and AICC general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh M. Veerappa Moily said on Sunday.
Talking to The Hindu after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi here, Mr. Moily said the discussions were routine. But he did not deny that they touched the Andhra Pradesh issue.
Claiming that “everything is under control” in Andhra Pradesh, he dismissed as “mere outburst of emotions” the threats posed by some Congress MLAs and Ministers to split the Congress Legislature Party if Rajasekhara Reddy’s son Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy was not made Chief Minister. The leadership understood their feelings as everyone knew that Rajasekhara Reddy was one of the tallest leaders of the State, he said. “We don’t want to go by the unnecessary rumours spread by some quarters.”
The question of appointing a committee to find out the CLP’s choice for the Chief Ministership or short-listing names would come up only when the process began; the exercise would get under way only after the seven-day mourning period ended, he said. However Mr. Moily did not discount the possibility of the party allowing Chief Minister K. Rosaiah to continue. “ The decision will be taken at the right time.”
AICC general secretary in charge of West Bengal and former APCC president K. Keshava Rao did not see any threat to the Congress in Andhra Pradesh.
Rejecting the demand made by some young Congress MLAs and Ministers for making Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy Chief Minister, he said: “No one can dictate terms to the Congress, which is a national party.”
Some Ministers, who were initially reluctant to accept Mr. Rosaiah as Chief Minister, fell in line and took the oath on Sunday, he said. “They have become red-faced owing to the stand taken by the high command. The same thing will happen in the case of the reluctant MLAs, and it will only be a matter of days before they follow suit.”
The issue had almost been resolved, Mr. Keshava Rao said, pointing to the fact that Mr. Rosaiah was the senior-most Congress politician in the State.
APCC president D. Srinivas, who is said to be one of the contenders for the top post, said he was not asked by the high command to send any report. Ms. Sonia Gandhi was more important in the organisation than any one else, he said. She would put an end to the issue after the mourning period.