Congress steps up efforts to find YSR's successor

Manmohan, Sonia meet leaders from Andhra Pradesh


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday joined Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the efforts to evolve a consensus on the issue. 

The prime minister held a half-an-hour meeting with YSR’s childhood friend and aide K V P Ramachandra Rao, who has been leading a campaign to make Jaganmohan Reddy, YSR’s only son, the next chief minister of AP. Sonia, too, met several Congress MPs and party leaders from AP.

The Congress had earlier said that a decision on YSR’s successor would be taken only after the mourning period was over. The party seems reluctant to put Jaganmohan, a political greenhorn, at the helm of affairs. But the Congress top brass is trying to assess how YSR loyalists will react if the current Chief Minister K Rosaiah is asked to continue or anyone else is picked up to head the next government.

Rao, a Rajya Sabha member from AP, told journalists after the meeting that Singh was well aware of the “political situation” and “sentiments of the party rank and file as well as the common people” in the state. “I do not have to explain the details to him,” he said.

Rao, who called on Sonia on Tuesday, also met AICC  general secretary Digvijay Singh. “I am sure the party leadership would take an appropriate decision at an appropriate time,” he said. Nearly a dozen other Congress MPs and leaders from AP called on Sonia. Former union minister Renuka Chowdhary was among them. Sources say the Congress has offered Jaganmohan a ministerial berth at the Centre, if it chooses not to put the 37-year-old first-time MP at the chief minister’s office.

Meanwhile, sources in the Congress said former AP home minister K Jana Reddy has written to Sonia expressing his support for Jaganmohan. Jana Reddy was believed to be a contender for the chief minister’s post after YSR’s death.

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