Holds meetings with State Congress leaders
As the Andhra Pradesh Congress government is facing one crisis after another, party president Sonia Gandhi has taken direct charge of the matters by holding a series of meetings with State Congress leaders.
Assisted by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, her political secretary Ahmed Patel, party in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Congress affairs M. Veerappa Moily and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ms. Gandhi met PCC chief D. Srinivas and Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy to discuss steps to counter the challenges faced by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy. Minister for IT Ponnala Lakshmaiah and Congress MLA Marri Sashidar Reddy also met her.
The issues of appointing a new PCC chief, nominees for the posts of Deputy Chief Minister and the Assembly Speaker and the rebellion by Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy were discussed at these meetings.
Mr. Jaipal Reddy told The Hindu that he discussed with Ms. Gandhi, various State-related matters, including the impact of Mr. Jaganmohan's resignation.
Ms. Gandhi's consultations with the leaders of the State is a follow-up of the party's core group meeting on Friday which decided to rally firmly behind the Kiran government as the party prepares to face the Telangana issue after Justice Srikrishna Committee submits its report by the end of this month.
Special Correspondent from Hyderabad reports:
Mr. Srinivas may continue in office for some more time in view of the changed circumstances following the demand by the weaker sections for a larger share of the political cake.
As the two-year-long tenure of Mr. Srinivas, a Backward Classes leader, has ended, the high command has been looking to appoint a successor. But it has decided to tread cautiously after the ruckus created by senior Ministers over the short shrift given to the weaker sections.
Moreover, the AICC is now more concerned about selecting its nominee for the post of Assembly Speaker as the winter session of the legislature is commencing on December 10.
Meanwhile, there was hectic lobbying for the key posts by various pressure groups. A section of partymen was canvassing in favour of Nadendla Manohar, who belongs to the Khamma community, for the Speaker's post.
But the name of Mr. Bhatti Vikramarka, Government Chief Whip, is also under consideration. Similarly, J. Geeta Reddy and C. Damodar Rajanarsimha are in the race for the Deputy Chief Minister's post.