AP health minister dismissed

Cracking the whip against dissidents, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Saturday dismissed Health Minister D L Ravindra Reddy from the state cabinet.

The chief minister sent a letter to Governor E S L Narasimhan, recommending the removal of Ravindra Reddy from the cabinet, sources in the chief minister’s office said. The governor accepted the chief minister’s recommendation and allotted Reddy’s portfolio to Medical Education Minister Kondru Murali.

The health minister had been openly criticising the chief minister. Last month, he slammed the manner in which the chief minister announced a scheme for girl child without consulting him.

Kiran Kumar Reddy cracked the whip after approval from the central leadership of the Congress party. The chief minister returned on Friday after a two-day visit to Delhi, during which he called on party president Sonia Gandhi and other senior leaders, the sources said.

Ravindra Reddy, who was away in London, told some Telugu television channels that he had submitted his resignation last year and the same should have been accepted.

Unhappy with the chief minister for divesting him of medical education responsibilities in March last year, Ravindra Reddy had submitted his resignation, saying he was accepting the moral responsibility of the party’s defeat in the by-elections to seven Assembly seats in which it drew a blank. The leadership had then advised him not to press for the acceptance of his resignation.

Ravindra Reddy is the second dissident to be dropped by Kiran Kumar Reddy. Last year, he had removed Shankar Rao from the cabinet.

A six-time legislator from Mydukur constituency in Kadapa district, Ravindra Reddy was inducted into the cabinet by Kiran Kumar Reddy in December 2010.

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