The Congress central leadership has made it clear that the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Andhra Pradesh will meet only after the mourning period for Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy is over. Till then, no representations on behalf of anybody will be considered by the high command.
This was stated on Saturday by general secretary in charge of the State and Union Law Minister, M. Veerappa Moily, after a section of party legislators made an attempt to convene a CLP meeting. They changed their plans after it was made clear that such a meeting could not be convened in the absence of central observers.
As news broke about the loyalists of Rajasekhara Reddy planning to convene a CLP meeting - purportedly to condole his death - Mr. Moily communicated to the group that such a meeting could be called only by the high command.
Asked whether the unanimous resolution adopted by members of the Legislative Council favouring Rajasekhara Reddy's son and Kadapa MP, Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, for Chief Minister had reached him, Mr. Moily refused comment; stating it was not proper to speak on the subject during the mourning period.
In fact, the high command asked Mr. Moily - who along with Union Minister of State for Science & Technology Prithviraj Chavan had been sent by the party to Hyderabad on Wednesday after Rajasekhara Reddy's helicopter went missing - to return to the capital on Friday itself after the funeral, in a bid to slow down the frenetic canvassing for anointing Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy as Chief Minister.
Team for Delhi
Hyderabad Special Correspondent reports:
Strong signals emerging from the AICC have made YSR supporters tone down their demand for making Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy Chief Minister.
In addition, two Congress MPs - V. Hanumantha Rao and K. Keshava Rao - faulted Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy's supporters for launching a campaign even before the seven-day State mourning was over.
All these developments prompted YSR's loyalists to redraw their strategies at a meeting in which a dozen Ministers took part. They resolved to tone down their aggressive approach, lest they attract the high command's ire.
A delegation of MPs led by Andhra Pradesh Congress MPs Forum convener Ponnam Prabhakar is leaving for New Delhi on Sunday to make a pitch with the central leadership in favour of Mr. Reddy.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah said he would ever be loyal to the high command and would abide by its directions. He would not mind even jumping into the Hussain Sagar Lake if the high command asked him to do so. It was because of his loyalty he had been able to work with many Chief Ministers. He was replying to questions by journalists whether he would support the move to replace him by Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy.