Pouring cold water on the hopes of the aspirants for CM’s post, AICC supremo Sonia Gandhi is learnt to have turned down their request, paving the way for President’s rule in the state.
The Union Cabinet, which is expected to meet either on Thursday or Friday, is likely to take a decision in this regard, sources said.
The AICC leadership, which has been in a dilemma for over a week whether to impose President’s rule or nominate a new CM in place of Kiran Kumar Reddy, is learnt to have almost decided on Wednesday to go for President’s rule.
The decision was taken soon after a battery of Seemandhra leaders, along with AICC state affairs incharge Digvijaya Singh, had knocked on the door of AICC chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi and pleaded with her to appoint a new CM in the state.
The AICC supremo was taken aback by the fierce competition among the leaders to occupy the coveted post though it is only for a limited period, sources disclosed.
A senior minister, who was part of the Seemandhra delegation which had met the AICC chief, told Express that the party leadership had considered three issues to prefer President’s rule.
One, AICC leadership is of the view that installing a new CM at a time when the election notification is just 10-day away could invite criticism from the opposition as the party does not have sufficient numbers in the Assembly with some of its MLAs crossing over to other parties.
Two, since there is an intense competition for the CM’s post, choosing one leader could make others angry and make them work against the party during elections.
Three, as Seemandhra is divided on caste lines, picking the CM from one community might invite the wrath of other castes.
According to sources, the Seemandhra lawmakers told their party boss that if a popular government is in place during elections, it would give some advantage for the ruling party.
Emerging from the meeting, Digvijaya Singh refused to comment on Kiran Reddy’s successor. “You will soon come to know,” was his terse reply when scribes had repeatedly sought to know what sort of alternative arrangements were being made in the state.
Apart from PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana, party seniors Kanna Lakshminarayana, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, C Ramachandraiah, Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy, Kondru Murali Mohan, Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao, N Raghuveera Reddy, Vatti Vasant Kumar, P Balaraju and Md Ahmadullah called on Sonia Gandhi at 10 Janpath. Digvijaya Singh and Union minister JD Seelam were also present.
Interestingly, after knowing the mind of their party leadership, the Seemandhra leaders who had aspired for the CM’s post, have begun saying that they were never in the race.
On Wednesday evening, Union minister K Chiranjeevi said, “I have never tried for the CM’s post. All such reports are media imagination.”