Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s meeting with 12 Telangana ministers at the Camp Office on Saturday evening came a cropper with four ministers suddenly deciding to keep away.
Minister Komatireddy Venkatreddy, who along with colleagues J Geeta Reddy, Ponnala Lakshmaiah and P Shankar Rao skipped the meeting, was the most vocal of the leaders who called up other ministers and told them to avoid going to the meeting called for by the CM in the evening.
The sudden display of aggression on the part of the ministers was attributed to TDP’s Telangana Forum legislators’ decision earlier in the day to submit their resignations to the Speaker again next week.
Komatireddy’s argument was that many leaders from Seeamandhra who had made damaging statements were not being counseled. Komatireddy cited the instances of Rayalaseema Congress leaders talking about raising a private army and Eluru MP Kavuri Sambasiva Rao jokingly equating the separate Telangana demand with ‘separate Krishna’ district.
“When Kiran Kumar is clearly pro-Seemandhra, what is the point in meeting him,” was Komatireddy’s refrain on telephone to his colleagues. He also referred to the unfinished medical college near Bhongir and the CM announcing a new one in Nellore district at the cost of Rs 500 crore to strengthen his point that the CM was anti-Telangana.
In the end, this became the message that Jana Reddy took to the chief minister when the T Congress leaders met him in the evening. Later, Jana Reddy said the meeting was clearly intended to tell the chief minister that they should not be called for such meetings again and there was no question of them returning to work until the current crisis is resolved.
Earlier, the chief minister tried his best to convince them to return to work. “He requested the ministers to attend to work by Monday as their prolonged absence was affecting the administration. The chief minister also told the leaders that the high command had initiated a consultation process to find out a solution to the present crisis.”
But in response, the ministers reportedly expressed their displeasure at the CM’s decision to go ahead with the SI recruitment. Jana Reddy told the chief minister that it was unfair to begin the recruitment process without getting the 14 F clause deleted.
“At a time when regional tempers are running high, how can the government conduct the test for the recruitment of SIs,” Jana is said to have asked the CM. The eight ministers who went to the meeting included Jana Reddy, Basavaraj Saraiah, K Sudarshan Reddy, R Venkata Reddy, D Sridhar Babu, P Sabita Indra Reddy, Sunitha Lakshma Reddy and D K Aruna. TOI