In what could be a shocker to the rebel chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, his own PCC chief and finance minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy were among other seven cabinet ministers from Seemandhra region who abstained from Sunday's crucial meeting summoned at his official residence to decide his future course of action.
The meeting was considered significant in view of CM embarrassing the party high command by getting a resolution passed against the T Bill (AP Reorganisation Bill-2013) in the assembly in January last and also holding a dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh annoying the Congress top guns. As a result the party had issued an unwritten diktat which kept many senior leaders, including MPs, ministers and MLAs, from the region away from his meeting.
In all only 28 MLAS, 7 ministers, a govt whip, a single MP and seven MLCs attended the meeting which aimed at taking a collective decision on whether the CM and other cabinet members should resign now and take up the Samaikyandhra campaign under the banner of a new party. Those who attended the meeting were Svijayaraju, Pithani Satyanrayana, Erasu Pratap Reddy, T G Venkatesh, Ganta Srinivas Rao and Kasu Krishna Reddy. While Many claimed non receipt of invitation, others pointed at the Congress high command diktat to not join force with CM. In a House of 295, Congress has 146 members ( 98 from Seemandhra ) and 33 MPs ( 22 from seemandhra ).
Upset by the absence of his own cabinet membres and MLAs, Kiran Kumar Reddy abandoned plans to visit Delhi and participate in the AP NGOs' dharna at Ramleela Maidan. "The CM is likely to resign on the day the T Bill is passed in parliament," says his close aide, MLA Jagga Reddy.
Senior ministers Anam Ramnarayan Reddy and tribal minister Balraju, agriculture minister Kanna Lakshminarayana did not turn up. "We expected at least 60 MLAs and 10 MPs and 10 ministers to attend," said a senior aide of the chief minister. "Kiran Kumar Reddy's meetings are becoming just tea and samosa sessions and not resulting in any serious decisions to end the political uncertainty in the state," said the state minister Dokka Manikya Prasad who also did not attend.
The chief minister also met some of the MLAs, MPs and ministers separately to assess their stand, said Veerashiva Reddy, the MLA from Kamalapuram of Kadapa district. "Everyone is asking the CM to resign and form a new party and that on the united Andhra campaign, they could win the 2014 elections," he said.
Meanwhile, around 5,000 samaikyandhra agitators left for Delhi by eight special trains to participate in the two- day dharna call given by theYSRC president YS Jaganmohan Reddy at Jantar Mantar.
Another 10 trains loads of agitators participating in the Samaikyandhra dharna at Ramleela grounds organised by the AP NGOs ( employees) supported by the congress have reached Delhi . Both the parties have hired private catering , publicity and transport companies for the maintenance of Andhra crowds at Delhi it is said.