HYDERABAD: Ahead of the arrival of AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad for Saturday's second Congress Coordination Committee meeting, Chiranjeevi has decided to be content with the portfolios offered by chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy for his two ministers _ Ghanta Srinivasa Rao and C Ramachandraiah.
Accordingly, the governor, on the recommendation of the chief minister, allocated Infrastructure, Investments and Ports to Srinivasa Rao and Endowments to Ramachandraiah. With the chief minister holding ground despite pressure brought by Chiranjeevi and PCC president Botcha Satyanrayana that the two new entrants into the cabinet be given charge of Power and Commercial Taxes, Chiranjeevi is understood to have decided to play along since any prolongation of the stalemate might irk Azad and other elders of the party high command.
On Thursday night, Chiranjeevi and Botcha met Kiran Kumar Reddy separately and put forth the demand that the two legislators should be given portfolios they wanted and not the ones Kiran wanted. But the chief minister is understood to have hinted at the possibility of unrest among senior ministers who were holding less significant portfolios if he allotted power, a sensitive portfolio, and commercial taxes, a revenue-generating department, to the latecomers.
At one stage, Kiran expressed his annoyance over the PRP leader repeatedly referring to the high command promising portfolios of his choice for his men and told him that he was free to approach the high command.
Later, he conferred with Srinivasa Rao and Ramachandraiah. On Friday morning the two new ministers attended a breakfast hosted by the chief minister at his residence and nodded their head when they were told that they should be content with the portfolios being offered to them. Later, they announced that they would accept without any murmur whatever portfolios that were offered to them.
That the chief minister had the last laugh in regard to allocation of portfolios, sources said, rankled Chiranjeevi and his two ministers but they decided not to show their dissatisfaction and wait till the arrival of Azad where he is likely to give him an account of the injustice meted out to him.
Though both Kiran and Chiranjeevi had spoken to Azad over phone on Thursday night, the veteran film actor is likely to meet Azad separately and press for better portfolios for his ministers as and when reconstitution of the cabinet takes place which according to indication might happen even before the commencement of the budget session of the Assembly.