New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh was in focus at the
Congress Core Group meeting on Friday with a report on the issue
of a separate state of Telangana set to be out by month-end.
Sources said the Core Group meeting discussed Andhra
Pradesh portfolio controversy too and the ways and means to
strengthen the newly-installed government headed by N Kiran
The meeting was presided over by party chief Sonia Gandhi
with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by her side.
Significantly, Union Minister M Veerappa Moily, who is
party in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, was specially called for
the meeting, which took place close on the heels of the
rebellion in the Reddy cabinet over allocation of portfolios.
It took place on a day, when Lok Sabha Speaker Meira
Kumar accepted the resignation of Kadapa MP Jaganmohan Reddy,
son of late Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy. The young
leader quit the party accusing the leadership of humiliating
Party leaders apprehend the controversy over a separate
Telangana state could come to the fore once more after the
Justice Srikrishna Commission report on the Telangana issue is
out before the deadline of December 31.
The party had already announced that it will have a
Deputy Chief Minister from Telengana region, a move intended
to address regional aspirations.
Senior ministers Pranab Mukherjee, A K Antony, P C
Chidambaram and Political Secretary to Congress President
Ahmed Patel also attended the meeting.
The meeting took place against the backdrop of the 16-day
long stalemate in Parliament on JPC issue and the demand for
removal of Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas.
Rejecting the opposition demand for a JPC to go into
the 2G spectrum scam, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan
Kumar Bansal said that the opposition was using the stalemate
as a "political weapon" to obstruct its functioning.
"It is the right of the Opposition to throw out the
government. It is not the right of the Opposition to obstruct
the functioning of the government. Out of conviction we cannot
accept the demand for JPC," he said.
BJP has also demanded the sacking of P J Thomas after the
stinging observations from the Supreme Court on his capacity
to supervise the CBI probe into the 2G spectrum scam.