Sensing the adverse reaction to their campaign for installing Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, loyalists of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy have decided to refrain from public posturing to avoid any scope for the Congress high command to take a serious note of the activity.
Though the loyalists are determined to see the Kadapa MP as the Chief Minister at any cost, the strong signals emerging from the AICC and the dissatisfaction expressed by some leaders over the timing of the demand appear to have made them cautious and tone down their pitch.
The die-hard YSR supporters abruptly called off an informal meeting of the Congress Legislature Party slated for 5 p.m. on Saturday after a senior AICC leader reportedly warned Government Chief Whip Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka against convening any such meeting without express instructions from New Delhi.
However, the MLAs then planned to put up a show of strength by taking out a silent rally from the Assembly to the official residence of Rajasekhara Reddy. But, a phone call from Rajya Sabha member K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao forced them to put on hold the rally and to organise a condolence meeting instead.
In a related development, N. Raghuveera Reddy, Agriculture Minister in YSR’s Cabinet, called on PCC president D. Srinivas and wanted him to take the lead in making Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy Chief Minister.
Stating that he was quite conscious of the mood in the party in favour of YSR’s son, the PCC president made it clear that he would express his opinion only when it was sought by the high command. He advised the loyalists to await instructions from the central leadership and avoid hasty steps.
Congress MLCs, however, did not heed the warnings and adopted a unanimous resolution requesting AICC president Sonia Gandhi to appoint Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy Chief Minister, failing which, they said, the Congress and the State would be thrown into “utter chaos.”