Faced with divisions in the party over Telangana statehood in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress high command on Friday cracked the whip and issued a show cause notice to rebel minister K Venkata Reddy.
Reddy had refused to take back his resignation and criticised chief minister K Rosaiah for allegedly mishandling the issue.
The IT minister was charged with “deliberately lowering the party’s prestige” and given seven days to respond to the notice.
The move comes ahead of Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s meeting on January 5 with eight recognised parties from Andhra Pradesh to discuss the Telangana issue that has kept the state on the boil.
AICC general secretary in charge of organisational affairs Janardhan Dwivedi issued the show cause notice after Andhra Pradesh-in-charge Veerappa Moily submitted a report about the developments in the state.
On Thursday, Reddy had attacked Rosaiah for alleging that Maoists had joined the Telangana movement. “He should not try to scuttle the formation of Telangana by sending reports to the Centre or by speaking to the media like this… He should behave like the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and not just for coastal Andhra, at least till the state is divided,” Reddy had said.
Besides Reddy, other pro-Telangana Congress leaders also lashed out at Rosaiah. Rajya Sabha member K. Keshava Rao criticised him for not withdrawing the “false” cases filed by the police on students and Telangana supporters while Congress legislator R. Damodar Reddy took exception to Rosaiah’s reported complaint against Reddy to the party leadership.
Meanwhile, scribes in the state took objection to the director general of police’s warning that action would be taken against media organisations if they showed incidents of violence repeatedly in their news channels.