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Status quo to continue
High Command in no mood to experiment with revamp The series of meetings Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had with the leaders of Congress High...
High Command in no mood to experiment with revamp The series of meetings Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had with the leaders of Congress High Command during his three-day stay in New Delhi, had given rise to speculation about dropping of tainted ministers, reshuffle of the Cabinet and revamp of PCC. But it is now clear that the high command wants to maintain status quo. PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana, who looked jubilant after his return from New Delhi, on Saturday, held a meeting with several of his party leaders at Gandhi Bhavan here to fill the vacant posts in the PCC. In an informal chat with reporters, Botcha took pot shots at the media stating that in the last three days they had changed the PCC president and dropped the ministers, but with the blessings of the High Command he was still sitting in the chair. On the issue of tainted ministers too he indicated they would not be dropped. "It is an administrative matter and it is for the Chief Minister to decide. The situation in the State is different from that of Centre," he said. He said that he was now focusing his attention on the extended meeting of the PCC which is slated to be held on May 22 at Kotla Vijayabhaskar Reddy Indoor Stadium, Yosufguda, to gear up the Congress cadres for the ensuing local body elections and the next year's elections. Botcha said about 2,000 leaders from district, mandal and block level would participate in the meeting at which the party will work out a detailed strategy to take the government's welfare schemes to the people in the run-up to the 2014 general elections. The PCC chief said the Congress party was not scared of its two main rival parties, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). He said the High Command wanted the party rank and file to maintain close contact with the people to ensure that the government's programmes reach the people and adequate publicity given. A senior party leader who met the Congress leaders, including Sonia Gandhi at Delhi in the last two days, said though Chief Minister and PCC president were not in good terms and a thought of replacing him with someone from the T region had come up, but the idea has been put on hold. They did not appear to be in a mood to experiment with the leadership in the State, observed the leader. It is also learnt that the High Command discussed whether early Assembly elections would help the party. The party even placed a few survey reports on the outcome of early polls. But the general opinion among the party leaders was not to take any hasty step, he added. CM reluctant to act against 'tainted' ministers New Delhi: The Congress High Command, which took drastic action against the two tainted Union Ministers, Pawan Bansal and Ashwani Kumar, could not have advised Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy not to drop the tainted Ministers in the State. Instead, the Congress High Command chose to give a free hand to the Chief Minister to take whatever decision, in keeping with the legal requirements. For now, Kiran Kumar is reluctant on any drastic action against the tainted ministers. However, since Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy is set to appear in the court, the Chief Minister may prefer to wait to see what would be the court observations. If the observations are adverse, then he may even be forced to take recourse to the extreme step of dropping one or two ministers. The High Command has focussed its attention on Andhra Pradesh and has worked out a strategy to limit the damage and to make the best out of the existing political situation. In recent days, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had met both Chief Minister Kiran Kumar and APCC President Botcha Satyanarayana and Congress MPs from the State. Later, Kiran kumar had detailed discussions with Ghulam Nabi Azad spread over three rounds of meetings over the past two days. The High Command is wary of making any change of faces. It has sought to bridge the gap between the Chief Minister and Botcha. The Congress has finalised appointments to the APCC Executive and for the nominated posts of chairmen of Corporations and State-owned Boards. This move is expected to enthuse the party cadres. Congress is also focussing on the welfare schemes. It wants the Congressmen to take it to the masses and publicise the same, in the run up to the polls. The party also wants the ministers to increase tours of districts, to encourage them to interact more with the people and also to visit the local Congress offices, wherever they go.