Pro-Jaganmohan Reddy minister resigns in Andhra Pradesh

Last Updated: Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 23:00

Hyderabad: In first signs of dissidence
in Andhra Pradesh Congress, Women Welfare Minister Konda
Surekha on Thursday resigned demanding installation of Y S
Jaganmohan Reddy as Chief Minister.

"I am pained over the death of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

I cannot continue in a cabinet without YSR. At least now the
Congress High Command should heed to the demand for Jagan to
be made the Chief Minister," she told reporters after handing
over her resignation letter to Governor N D Tiwari directly
bypassing Chief Minister K Rosaiah.

Surekha, who has been in the forefront of `Jagan for
CM` campaign from the day of YSR`s death, alleged that a
section within the state Congress was preventing Jaganmohan
from being made the Chief Minister.

She said her resignation was not to "threaten" anyone
and that it was "purely a personal decision".

"I am pained at the fact that the Congress Legislature
Party has not been covenened even to condole the death of Y S
Rajasekhara Reddy," she said.

The resignation comes a day after Surekha, who had
earlier said she would never work under Rosaiah as he was not
a mass leader, termed the Chief Minister a father figure.

Other pro-Jagan ministers like Danam Nagender, Aanam
Ramanarayana Reddy and Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy have also
mellowed down had also started singing praise of Rosaiah.

Ramachandra Reddy was the one who first threatened to
split the Congress if Jagan was not made the Chief Minister.
With the party high command solidly standing by Rosaiah,
Ramachandra Reddy has fallen silent.

There are reports that now everyone in the party is
anxiously awaiting the expansion of Cabinet. The Congress
Legislature Party is expected to meet very soon to formally
elect Rosaiah as its leader, a formality that has not been
completed after the death of Rajasekhara Reddy on September 2.

Sources close to Rosaiah said he will visit New Delhi
after he is formally elected the CLP leader and discuss the
issue of Cabinet expansion with the party high command.

Currently, there are seven slots vacant in the Council
of Ministers and indications are that the Chief Minister may
drop some non-performing ministers.

"I have not assessed the performance of the ministers
yet," Rosaiah replied, when questioned about the changes
likely to take place in his Cabinet.

Changes, however, look inevitable as many ministers
have failed to deliver.

Senior Congress leaders loyal to Rosaiah want Konda
Surekha to be removed from the Cabinet given her open
criticism of the Chief Minister. They even want Home Minister
P Sabita Indra Reddy removed from the Cabinet or shunted to a
less prominent portfolio given her allegiance to Jagan.

Danam Nagender has been drawing flak not only from the
opposition parties but also from within the ruling party over
his gross failure in handling a key portfolio like medical and
health. Most parts of the state are in the grip of epidemics
like `chikungunya, dengue and malaria` but Nagender failed to
take effective steps to check the spread of diseases.

Surekha said she is saddened over Congress Legislature
Party not meeting so far to pay homage to the late Chief
Minister.
Surekha, who had earlier announced that she would quit if
Jagan is not made Chief Minister, said she was also pained by
media reports that she did not stick to her word.

Terming her decision as "purely personal", Surekha, a
leader from Warangal district, said she did not inform Jagan
about the matter as he may try to persuade her not to quit.

There were several flip-flops by Surekha before she put
in her papers today. Soon after YSR’s death, she was among the
ministers who not only demanded Jagan be installed as Chief
Minister but also threatened to quit the post if their demand
was not conceded. She even promised not to work under Rosaiah
and said she would step down if he was elected the CLP leader.

Subsequently, she claimed she has no differences with the
Chief Minister and would abide by the party high command’s
decision.

Two days ago, she termed Rosaiah a "father figure" and
had nothing against him. She also attended the meeting of the
state cabinet this morning.

However, at night, she drove to the Raj Bhavan and
submitted her resignation to the Governor.

Surekha said she has decided to quit her post as she was
"mentally dejected" following the death Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

"I could not continue in the cabinet without Rajasekhara
Reddy,” she said.

"I hope the Congress high command will take note of my
resignation and convene the CLP meeting immediately to elect
Jaganmohan Reddy as the leader in deference to the wishes of
the party leaders and the people", she said.

Surekha apologized to Rajya Sabha member K V P
Ramachandra Rao and Jaganmohan Reddy for quitting her post
without informing them. She also apologized to "women,
physically-challenged persons and juveniles" for abruptly
leaving a job that has been entrusted to her by Rajasekhara
Reddy.

Surekha said she had informed only her husband Konda
Muralidhar, a member of the state Legislative Council, and her
daughter about the decision to quit her post.

"I will continue to be an MLA as it is the people who
elected me. I shall continue to be at their service," she
said.

Rosaiah declines comment on Surekha`s resignation

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K
Rosaiah tonight declined to comment on Women`s Welfare
Minister Konda Surekha’s resignation demanding installation of
Y S Jaganmohan Reddy in his place in the top post.

"I have not received any letter from her. Nor did she
talk to me on the issue," Rosaiah said when reporters sought
his reaction on her resignation.

Surekha submitted her resignation to Governor N D
Tiwari.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 23:00

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