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Jagan throws Cong challenge, set to form new party

YSR's scion invites people unhappy with the new Chief Minister to leave Congress and join him. The new party will replace the Congress in the state, claims his aide. New Congress government in state is already in crisis. Ashok Das writes.

india Updated: Dec 02, 2010 20:40 IST
Ashok Das
Ashok Das
Hindustan Times

YS Jaganmohan Reddy moved in for the kill as the 8-day old N Kiran Kumar Reddy government plunged into a crisis with one minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar resigning and five other ministers threatening to do so protesting against allocation of “insignificant portfolios” to them.

The Chief spokesman of the Jagan Group, Ambati Rambabu, announced that the YSR scion will launch his political party soon and invited all those not happy with new Chief minister to leave Congress and join Jagan.

"Jagan will come in front of the media very soon and announce it(the new party). His new political party will become very strong and replace the Congress party in the state" Rambabu said.

He revealed that Jagan has initiated talks with his followers in the districts about the formation of the party. Rambabu said there was no need for Jagan to topple the Kiran Kumar Reddy government in the state as it is falling under its own contradictions.

Jagan on his part spoke to the Vatti Vasanth Kumar, a hardcore YSR loyalist, who resigned unhappy with Tourism portfolio and offered him all support if he decided to join the rebel camp.He also spoke with other ministers who are unhappy with their portfolios.

Five other ministers Botsa Satyanarayana, Danam Nagender, Ponnala Laxmaiah, Kasu Venkatakrishna Reddy and K Venkat Reddy are also unhappy with the lightweight portfolios given to them. They are planning to confront the Chief minister at the first cabinet meeting this evening and if their grievances are resolved will resign. "It (Cabinet) is not your private limited company. Do you want the Congress party to survive in Andhra Pradesh or get reduced to its 1994 status (when it won only 27 seats and could not even become the main opposition party)," one of the rebel minister said in a missive to the CM.

Incidentally, majority of the disgruntled ministers are from backward classes and they alleged that the new Chief Minister, being a member of Reddy community himself, has allocated all the prized portfolios to the Reddy ministers. Not only the BCs got lesser number of ministers (10 as against 14 Reddy ministers) the portfolios they got were light, they alleged and warned that the ill-treatment to BCs will boomerang on the party.

A deeply worried chief minister sent finance minister Aanam Ramanarayana Reddy to placate the dissidents who had gathered at Vasanth Kumar`s house but the ministers remained adamant on their demand. Reports from Delhi said that the High command has asked Veerappa Moily and Ghulam Navi Azad to act as firefighters and sort out the problem. In another development, Jagan`s supporters heckled his uncle Vivekananda Reddy who had come to meet him at the former`s residence.

They squatted in front of his car and shouted slogans against him and Congress party but no one from Jagan camp came to his aide.

First Published: Dec 02, 2010 14:44 IST