AP rebel leaders ask high command to rein in Kiran

AP rebel leaders ask high command to rein in Kiran

Following last week’s sacking of the health minister D L Ravindra Reddy from the Andhra Pradesh cabinet, voices against the chief minister–especially over his “unilateral” style of leadership—has been getting shriller amongst the rebel ministers.

Dissidents in Kiran cabinet are now camping in Delhi for the past three days, explaining to senior leaders how the chief minister’s leadership style could have an adverse impact on the party in Andhra.

Besides deputy chief minister and prominent dalit leader Damodara Rajanarasimha, rebels also find support in PCC chief B Satyanarayana, senior minister K Jana Reddy and Union minister K Chiranjeevi.

Rajanarasimha, who has a strained relationship with the chief minister, met party president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday and was believed to have told her that Kiran’s style of functioning was causing a major damage to the party and the government.

The rebel leader also met the AICC general secretary in-charge of AP, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy and other leaders and apprised them of the political situation. The national capital has indeed become a beehive of dissident activities, with a steady stream of rebel leaders asking central leaders to rein in the chief minister.  Actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi also met Sonia Gandhi and reportedly raised issues regarding Kiran. The meeting comes amid rumours that his confidant and state endowment minister C Ramachandraiah is also likely to be removed by the chief minister.

Congress sources say two more ministers also face expulsion for being critical of the chief minister. Ravindra Reddy was inducted to the cabinet in 2010 when Kiran was chosen as the chief minister. But, he frequently criticised the chief minister for his plans programmes such as the Re 1-a-kg rice scheme, power tariff hike, and the recently launched Bangaru Talli.