Hyderabad: Six ministers hailing from the Telangana region virtually boycotted Thursday’s cabinet meeting as they preferred to stay put in New Delhi and lobby for a separate State.
It might be mentioned here that as many as 10 Telangana ministers had joined the team of MPs, MLAs and MLCs who have gone to Delhi to take part in discussions with the Union Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, and the Union Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, to impress upon them the imperative and urgent need to carve out a separate State of Telangana.
Since the State Cabinet was scheduled meet today, four ministers from the Telangana region — Sunita Laxma Reddy, D. K. Aruna, P. Shankar Rao and Ram Reddy Venkat Reddy —- returned to the State capital to take part in the meeting. However, six other ministers — K. Jana Reddy, Ponnala Laxmaiah, Sridhar Babu, Basavaraju Saraiah, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and Sudershan Reddy – gave more importance to the Telangana cause and thus virtually boycotted the Cabinet meeting by staying back in Delhi to lobby for a separate State.
As a matter of fact, the Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, presided over a truncated cabinet meet with as many as seven ministers abstaining – six ministers from the Telangana region and one from Seemandhra region Mr Kanna Laxminarayana, who was away on a pilgrimage to Mansarovar.
Thus the virtual boycott of the cabinet meeting by some of the Telangana ministers once again endorsed the Opposition charge that the Chief Minister has no control over his ministers. As a matter of fact, the appointment of Mr Botcha Satyanarayana as the APCC president has further complicated the matters for Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy as the former has emerged as a “second power centre”. The PCC president’s open declaration that he was not averse to bifurcation of the State has come as a shot in the arm for the Telangana ministers to become more undisciplined.
Some ministers from the Seemandhra region were also cut up with the Chief Minister over his style of functioning. In fact, the same thing was brought to the notice of the AICC general secretary, Mr Gulam Nabi Azad, recently. Mr Anam Ramanarayana Reddy had even vent his tale of woes to the PCC Chief who had assured to raise the issue with the Chief Minister after the cabinet meeting.
Thus the goings-on in the ruling Congress and the State government only goes to prove that Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy is walking on thin ice!