Hyderabad: Cabinet expansion and action against 16 ruling Congress MLAs who had voted against his government in no-trust motion are expected to be on the agenda of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy's talks in New Delhi on Friday with party chief Sonia Gandhi and other leaders.
The Chief Minister is expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, a few Union Ministers and AICC general secretary in charge of Andhra affairs, Ghulam Nabi
Azad, according to reports.
Kiran did not expand his cabinet after he took over as Chief Minister in November last.
The number of vacancies in the cabinet that was six at the time of its constitution on December 1, 2010, went up to nine after the resignation of three ministers, including two from Telangana on the statehood issue.
The Telangana turmoil did not let the Chief Minister expand his cabinet even as he had tried to do so on a couple of occasions.
He also did not get the party high command's nod for the exercise, sources indicate.
Praja Rajyam Party that merged with Congress formally in August this year is eager to get its due in the state cabinet as per a promise it got at the time of merger.
PRP, led by actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi, had created a scare hours before the no-trust motion but eventually backed the government only after extracting assurances from the AICC leaders.
Since his government survived only because of the 17-member PRP's support, Kiran Kumar Reddy may accommodate Chiranjeevi's men in his Council of Ministers.
Cracking the whip against the 16 rebel MLAs -- loyal to Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy -- who had voted against the government in the no-confidence motion could be taken up by
the Chief Minister during his meetings with the central Congress leaders.
If Congress drags its feet fearing a rout in possible by-polls on disqualification issue, it will be left with more egg on its face since it has not yet acted against the rebel legislators for over a year now though they openly defied the party and sided with Jagan.
To avoid further embarrassment, the Chief Minister is said to be keen on getting the 16 MLAs disqualified subject to approval from the high command, sources close to him said.
First Published: Friday, December 09, 2011, 09:36