Amidst reports that Congress president Sonia Gandhi is contemplating changes in the party’s State unit, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is understood to be preparing to leave for Delhi in a day or two to confer with Central leaders on what he should do to set the house in order.
Though his programme has not been finalised yet, sources confirmed the possibility of a Delhi visit either Wednesday or Thursday. “Both the days have been kept free for him. He has programmes again on May 17,” the sources said.
The Chief Minister might seek the party high command’s advice on persisting with Home Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy and Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasad Rao, both charge-sheeted in the Jagan case.
Kiran is under pressure not only from within the Congress but also the Opposition to sack ministers who are under the CBI scanner, particularly after the dismissal of Pawar Kumar Bansal and Ashwani Kumar at the Centre. As Sabitha has been asked to appear before a CBI court on June 7 in the Jagan assets case, the Chief Minister is expected to brief the party high command on the new development.
Facing as he does a mini-revolt from some of his Cabinet colleagues for his alleged dictatorial attitude, the Chief Minister on Tuesday called a few ministers for a meeting at the Secretariat to explain to them his brainchild, Bangaru Thalli scheme, which is meant for the welfare of the girl child. Some ministers have openly accused him of not taking them into confidence while formulating schemes like these.
His arch rival and Health Minister DL Ravindra Reddy had even said that Bangaru Thalli was difficult to implement and gave a call to the people to drive away Congressmen if the scheme did not benefit them. PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana, in his inimitable style, expressed his resentment, saying he had no idea what Bangaru Thalli was all about.
According to sources, Panchayat Raj Minister K Jana Reddy fired questions at the Chief Minister at the meeting and sought to know why he was not discussing schemes in the Cabinet before announcing them. Jana Reddy demanded a categorical answer forcing Kiran Reddy to tell him he would place Bangaru Thalli at the next Cabinet meeting so that all ministers would know about it. Health Minister Ravindra Reddy skipped the meeting. Among the ministers who attended the meeting were Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Pithani Satyanarayana, S Sailajanath, D Manikya Vara Prasad and Suneetha Lakshma Reddy.
The Chief Minister held the meeting obviously to counter charges about his unilateral approach if the issue comes up in Delhi. The other issue is reconstitution of his cabinet which has been pending for a long time. The Cabinet he heads was inherited from the late YSR, barring a few subsequent changes. The Chief Minister wants a team of his own and doesn’t want anyone to throw a spanner in his works.