Kiran Reddy meets Sonia, PM; Congress warns Jagan (Evening Lead)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

NEW DELHI - Newly-appointed Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy met Congress president Sonia Gandhi here Saturday to finalise the list of his ministers, even as the Congress leadership warned defiant MP Jaganmohan Reddy with a “serious view of his activities”.

Reddy, who also called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, consulted Gandhi on the final list of members to be inducted in his cabinet Sunday, Congress sources told IANS. The state assembly is scheduled to begin its session Monday.

Several ministerial aspirants from different groups and regions, including Jagamohan’s uncle Vivekanada Reddy, were camping in New Delhi Saturday and lobbying for ministerial berths.

Some political circles said Vivekanada has proposed a reconciliation formula in which he and Jaganmohan both could be included in the cabinet.

Various speculations were flaoting in the Congress circles Saturday. One view was that the Congress may try for a reconciliation in the groupism-hit Andhra Pradesh Congress by accommodating some of Jaganmohan’s supporters or Jaganmohan himself.

The contrary view was that the Congress may act tough on Jaganmohan, whose Sakshi TV channel has been airing programmes criticising Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.

“My objective is to form a cabinet which will provide transparent and efficient administration,” Kiran Reddy told reporters before meeting Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence. The meeting lasted 30 minutes, party sources said.

Reddy met Manmohan Singh at his 7, Race Course Road residence for 20 minutes, an official in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) told IANS.

“It was basically a courtesy call by Reddy after assuming the new office. Of course, developmental matters would have been generally discussed,” the official said.

Reddy was scheduled to meet other senior ministers, including Home Minister P.Chidambaram, Moily, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy, an Andhra Bhawan official said.

He is likely to discuss the situation in the tension-ridden Telangana region with Chidambaram, sources said.

During the meeting with Moily, who is also the party general secretary in charge of the party’s affairs in Andhra Pradesh, Reddy will give final touches to the ministerial list, Congress sources told IANS.

Meanwhile, Moily said the party was having a serious view of the criticism of Congress leadership by Sakshi channel.

“We are seriously viewing Jaganmohan’s activities,” Moily told reporters here.

There were mixed signals from the Jaganmohan camp. Y.S. Vivekanada Reddy said, “Several people were jealous of Jagan as he was popular”. “Only the Sakshi TV management can explain why programmes criticising the Congress top brass were aired on the channel,” he added.

Jaganmohan had been running a defiant campaign against the central leadership, after he was denied the chief minister’s chair following the death of his father and then chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, popularly known as YSR, in a helicopter crash last year.

Jaganmohan held state-wide tours criticising the functioning of his father’s successor K.Rosaiah during the past one year. Rosiah resigned Wednesday citing “health reasons”.

Kiran Kumar Reddy, 50, an associate of YSR and the assembly speaker, was sworn in chief minister Thursday.

Meanwhile, Jaipal Reddy, who also hails from Andhra Pradesh, too joined the critical chorus against Jaganmohan.

“Jaganmohan Reddy has violated the party discipline and everyone knows that Sakshi TV is owned by him for his own political motives. This behaviour on his part is undesirable. The party high command is looking into this matter and will take action in due course of time,” he told reporters here.

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