Eight ministers, including six from Andhra-Rayalaseema and two from Telangana, today skipped the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet meeting, held after a gap of two months amidst tension prevailing over the proposed bifurcation of the state.
Ganta Srinivasa Rao, C Ramachandraiah, Galla Aruna Kumari, Erasu Pratap Reddy, Md Ahmedullah, T G Venkatesh -- ministers from Andhra-Rayalaseema region who tendered their resignations from the Cabinet protesting the state's division -- stayed away from the meeting chaired by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy.
J Geeta Reddy and Danam Nagender from Telangana also abstained, though for other reasons.
Geeta has been named as an accused in Kadapa MP YSR Jaganmohan Reddy's illegal assets case and charge sheeted by the CBI three days ago and that is said to be the reason for her abstention from the Cabinet meet.
Danam is on a foreign trip and hence did not attend, sources said. Interestingly, state Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha attended the Cabinet meet though he had not been seeing eye-to-eye with the Chief Minister ever since the Congress' Central Working Committee resolved on July 30 to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
Significantly, almost all ministers from Telangana region attended the Cabinet meeting though majority of them had been openly critical of the Chief Minister's stance on the bifurcation issue.
They had been demanding that Kiran Reddy abide by the Congress high command's decision and not act like "CM of Seemaandhra".