Hyderabad: The change in portfolio of a minister has kicked up a political storm and a fresh rebellion within the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh.
Taking umbrage to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy`s late last night move, ministers from Telangana region led by Panchayat Raj Minister K Jana Reddy met Governor ESL Narasimhan here Wednesday morning and lodged a protest and lashed out at the former for seeking to derive "sadistic pleasure."
In what would otherwise have been a routine administrative affair, Civil Supplies Minister D Sridhar Babu was divested of the additional portfolio of Legislative Affairs and, in lieu, given charge of the sought-after Commercial Taxes Department.
The Chief Minister had been holding charge of Commercial Taxes department along with several other departments for the last three years.
The Legislative Affairs charge was given to S Sailajanath, as an addition to the School Education portfolio he has been holding.
Ironically, Sridhar Babu belongs to Telangana and Sailajanath to Seemaandhra.
The portfolio re-jig seemingly sought to alter the regional equations at a time when the state Legislature is set to take up a crucial debate on the draft AP Reorganisation Bill-2013, referred to by the President, from January 3.
A seething Sridhar Babu asserted that he would not take charge of the Commercial Taxes department. He also maintained that he acted responsibly during the tabling of the draft Bill in the Legislature last month.
Jana Reddy termed the Chief Minister`s decision "undemocratic" but Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy (from Seemaandhra), who too met the Governor separately, said change in portfolios of ministers was the CM`s prerogative.