The Andhra Pradesh government was plunged into crisis as Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy remained untraced even nine hours since his helicopter went missing in a forested Maoist stronghold on Wednesday morning.
As darkness closed in and army choppers called off their search operations over Kurnool and adjoining districts, the administration, led by veteran Congress leader and Finance Minister Minister K Rosaiah, was trying to grapple with the crisis.
Rosaiah is leading the efforts to coordinate search operations with the central government. He is in touch with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) as well as the defence ministry.
He was amongst the first to rush to the chief minister's office in the secretariat. He held an emergency meeting of ministers and top officials.
Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy, whom YSR considers his younger sister, Chief Secretary P Ramakant Reddy, Director General of Police SSP Yadav and YSR's friend and Rajya Sabha member KVP Ramchandra Rao were among those who attended the meeting.
The crisis has hit the state only four months after YSR retained power to return as chief minister for the second time.