Kiran camp wary of Botcha's suspension act
Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s supporters are all agog with rumours over the possible reasons for PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana’s sudden suspension of nine Jagan loyalist MLAs from the party at a time when the government is resting on a wafer-thin majority. The CM campers believe Botcha’s move was a calculated one to corner Kiran Kumar with whom he has a running feud.
Close aides of the chief minister believe that Botcha resorted to the step only to throw the government into a crisis ahead of the budget session in retaliation to the letter sent to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi by PCC vice-president S Indrasain Reddy, requesting her to initiate disciplinary action against the PCC chief for taking part in the ‘Jai Andhra Pradesh’ meeting held in Rajahmundry recently.
The state Congress boss suspects the hand of Kiran Kumar behind the letter. As Indrasain Reddy released the letter to the media on Thursday only after confabulating with chief minister’s confidant M Ranga Reddy at the CLP office here, Botcha feels that Kiran Kumar is encouraging Botcha’s detractors in the party.
Giving a sneak peak into his mind, Botcha had lost his cool at the media conference held at Gandhi Bhavan here Friday. He said to a reporter from a TV channel run by the CM’s close aides: “I know about that letter. Only your channel has prominently telecast it. I can understand who are behind this letter.”
The talk in the Congress circles is that Botcha is now making his moves keeping in mind his own agenda to corner Kiran Kumar.
Meanwhile, as many as five ministers on Saturday swung into action and started assuring everyone about the survival of the government. Ministers Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, D Sridhar Babu, N Raghuveera Reddy, Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy and P Sunitha Lakshma Reddy on Saturday said: “Botcha cracked the whip on those nine pro-Jagan MLAs only to make it clear that anti-party activities will not be tolerated. Despite the disciplinary action on these legislators, we have sufficient numbers in the House. Our government will last its full term and Kiran Reddy will continue to be the chief minister till 2014 polls.”
Political pundits have already started making their calculations in the event that a no-confidence motion is moved during the budget session. The Assembly has an effective strength of 293 members (TDP legislator Suman Rathod’s membership was annulled by the court).
The Congress has a strength of 156 members, including one associate member K Srisailam Goud. The TDP has 85, TRS has 18 (17+1), YSRCP (17), MIM (7), CPI (4), BJP (3), CPM (1), Lok Satta (1) and an independent (Nagam Janardhana Reddy).