No marching orders for 3

No marching orders for 3

Three tainted ministers to stay till court proceedings CM talks in Delhi focus on winning strategy in local body polls Kiran calls on Sonia,...

Three tainted ministers to stay till court proceedings

  • CM talks in Delhi focus on winning strategy in local body polls
  • Kiran calls on Sonia, seeks nod for cabinet reshuffle and briefs her on desertions
  • Cabinet changes unlikely now

Venkat Parsa New Delhi: After two ministers, Sabitha Indra Reddy and Dharmana Prasad Rao, resigned in the wake of their being charge-sheeted, the Congress High Command has decided not to give the marching orders to the remaining three tainted ministers, who have received Supreme Court notices. The party has decided to defer any action and to wait for legal proceedings to unfold against the three ministers.

AICC General Secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, told The Hans India that discussions with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy focussed on the strategy to win the upcoming local bodies' elections, which are seen as the semi-finals, before the simultaneous Assembly and Parliament elections in the State to be held in 2014. The High Command is fully concentrating on the local bodies' polls and has discussed the election strategy with Kiran Kumar Reddy, Azad said. The issue of filling nominated posts and the names of candidates for the Legislative Council under Governor's quota are also said to have figured during the talks.

Kiran Kumar on Friday called on Congress President Sonia Gandhi to seek her nod for changes in the State Cabinet. He has also suggested reshuffle and reallocation of portfolios. This can be an alternative, in case induction of fresh faces is not being considered at this stage. He also discussed with Sonia Gandhi the names of nominees for Governor's nominations to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council. No decision has been taken on either of the issues, as yet. A The tainted ministers include Major Industries Minister J Geetha Reddy, Information Technology Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah and Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana. According to CBI, the ministers along with some bureaucrats were responsible for the issue of 26 controversial GOs paving way for the alleged loot of public money by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and his associates.

According to party sources, since the second leg of Budget Session of the Legislative Assembly is due from June 10, the Cabinet changes may be considered after the conclusion of the Assembly session.A During the hour-long meeting of Kiran Reddy with Sonia Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress President's Political Secretary Ahmed Patel were present. Kiran Kumar briefed her on the developments relating to the desertion of Telangana Congress leaders K Keshav Rao, G Vivek and Manda Jagannadham.

The Chief Minister also met Azad for one-and-a-half hours in the afternoon. This was the second round with Azad, after meeting with him late on Thursday evening, which was also followed up with a meeting with Ahmed Patel. During these meetings, Kiran kumar explained the mass-contact programmes he has launched, like Indiramma Bata, Rachcha Banda and Rythu Sadassu. He expressed the confidence that if the party makes the welfare schemes a success, which were highly acclaimed even by the Planning Commission, then the party can turn the tables on the Opposition.

The welfare schemes recently launched included Amma Hastam, Mana Biyyam, Indiramma Kalalu and Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu. The leaders should effectively publicise these schemes, so that the party could reap its benefits during the elections. It may be recalled that AICC Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had expressed a similar view that the party must aggressively take the welfare schemes to the people, to win them over. Earlier in the day, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Balram Naik met Kiran Kumar at AP Bhavan and expressed solidarity on the stand he has taken on the recent desertion of some Telangana Congress leaders.

Emerging from the meeting with Kiran Kumar, Naik said, "It is their personal decision to leave the Congress and join the TRS. They owe an explanation whether they joined the TRS, hoping to ride the crest of the Telangana sentiment and win the next elections, or whether they joined it to realise the goal of Telangana." Balram Naik was clear that the State can be carved out only by a national party and not by any regional outfit.

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