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Saubhadra Chatterji , Hindustan Times
New Delhi , November 19, 2012
In a scathing attack on the Congress leadership in Andhra, union cabinet minister V Kishore Chandra Deo has described the state unit chief B Satyanarayana Rao as “the don of the liquor mafia, the land mafia and the mining mafia” and dubbed N Kiran Kumar Reddy as an ineffective CM. In a note to the Congress leadership, Deo, who represents Andhra’s Araku segment in the Lok Sabha, has called for change at the top — of the state unit as well as the government.

The note couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Congress is hemmed in by the demand for a separate Telangana state and the rise of the Jagan Mohan Reddy, who after quitting the party has emerged as a force to be reckoned with.

The tribal affairs and panchayati raj minister has described Rao as the “fountainhead of corruption” with “a pie in every scam on which he has been able to lay his hand”. “It will be difficult to find a worse person for this post than the present incumbent,” the minister’s 11-page note says.

Deo, who enjoys a clean image, has told the party brass that even after a year in the office, the CM has failed to perform.

“He (CM) does not command any respect from his colleagues and is not able to motivate bureaucracy and the government machinery to work. He also suffers from an inferiority complex.”

Sources in the Congress, however, said the charges were Deo's personal observations, ruling out any immediate change. Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, in charge of the party affairs in the southern state, had recently said reports of a change of guard in Andhra were “mere speculation”.

During the last month's reshuffle, the Congress promoted and inducted six ministers from the state in the council of ministers as a part of strategy to rejuvenate the party in the state.

While Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has been calling for spreading awareness about Centre's welfare projects, Deo has alleged that “neither the PCC president nor the CM are taking any steps to bring an awareness about” the schemes.