Special Correspondent

Congress high command asks Chief Minister to defer the Cabinet exercise

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Thursday said the proposed expansion of his Council of Ministers would be after the resurrected Legislative Council came into being, and possibly after the budget session of the Assembly.

Dr. Reddy, who arrived here to discuss the expansion with the party high command, disclosed this to correspondents after his meeting with party president Sonia Gandhi along with AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh.

The Chief Minister said work on electing new Legislative Council members was expected to be over by the second week of March. Dr. Reddy said he came to discuss the expansion but was advised by the party central leadership to defer it till the Council formation process was over.

He said consequent to this decision, the State Government would not fill the posts of Chairman of boards and corporations that would arise after the end of the tenure of the incumbents. "These vacancies will be filled after the expansion. The incumbents will not get any extension," the Chief Minister said. As regards the setting up of the second States Re-organisation Commission, the Chief Minister said while he was confident that it would be created in a month's time, it was for the Centre to take a decision. After the recent brainstorming session, the State Congress leaders had conveyed the view to the party central leadership that the Central Government should take a decision on the issue.

Regional boards

Asked about the adverse impact on property prices in Telangana region on account of uncertainty, Dr. Reddy said such trends were part of market forces and akin to movement of shares in stock market.

On the subject of creation of separate regional development boards, the Chief Minister said while normally they should be one each of the three regions, if necessary, the Government could consider setting up another for North Coastal Andhra.

During his meeting both with Ms. Sonia Gandhi and Mr. Digvijay Singh, the Chief Minister said, there was some discussion on the guidelines for party candidates for the Legislative Council. For instance, he said, those sitting legislators who were denied nomination during the last Assembly elections following poll understanding should be considered.

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