Cong core committee meets

Cong core committee meets

 The Congress president and UPA chairperson asked Union law Minister M Veerappa Moily, who is in charge of the party’s affairs in Andhra Pradesh, and Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan to rush to Hyderabad to  oversee the search operations.

She also had a meeting with the party’s top leaders like Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K Antony, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and her political secretary Ahmed Patel at her residence late at night to assess the situation in the wake of the disappearance of Reddy.   She called up Reddy’s wife Vijaya Laxmi and assured her of all support in this hour of crisis.

Chidambaram earlier met Sonia Gandhi in the evening and briefed her on  the progress in the operations to find out the chopper that went missing with Reddy and four others.
“The Congress president, like everyone else in the party, is very worried and praying for the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister,” said All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesman Manish Tiwari. The grim-faced MP declined to take questions on the disappearance of the  helicopter in the routine news-conference in the party headquarters that wore a sombre look.

AICC sources said that Reddy had called some of the top Congress leaders in Delhi on Tuesday and discussed about his plan to travel to Chittoor, which is believed to be a stronghold of the Congress’ main political rival in the State, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Chittoor is the home-district of Chandrababu Naidu and Reddy had chalked out a strategy to decimate the TDP and strengthen the Congress there. He secured two major projects for Chittoor recently—a turbines and boilers manufacturing unit at Mannavaram and an international airport at Tirupati.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to inaugurate the airport at Tirupati and lay the foundation stone of an NTPC-BHEL power-plant at Mannavaram on September 16 and 17 next. “He appeared to be keen to take on Naidu in Chittoor both by launching development projects in the backward district and by political moves,” said a senior AICC functionary. Reddy, sources said, had discussed the plan with Moily and Patel, when he was in New Delhi last month to attend the chief ministers’ conference and a meeting of the Congress Working Committee.