YSR’s brother set to join Andhra cabinet, Jagan keeps Congress guessing (Roundup)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

HYDERABAD - Late Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s brother Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy Tuesday appeared all set to join the state cabinet, ignoring an appeal by his nephew Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, who quit the Congress party and parliament Monday.

Jagan, as Jaganmohan Reddy is popularly known, met Vivekananda for the second time Tuesday night, and requested him not to join the cabinet. Jagan’s mother Vijayalaxmi, who resigned as a state legislator, was also present during the meeting and she too requested her brother-in-law not to accept the post of minister.

Vivekananda Reddy, however, stood firm and later left Kadapa for Hyderabad, amid speculation that he will also take oath as a minister at the swearing-in of the new cabinet Wednesday morning.

Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy will meet Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan at 5 a.m. to hand over the list of ministers to be inducted.

Earlier, the day began with Vivekananda Reddy making it clear that he would stay with the Congress till his last breath and declared that he was even ready to contest polls against Jagan.

He denied Jagan’s allegation that the Congress was trying to divide the family and strongly defended Congress president Sonia Gandhi, whom Jagan sharply criticised in his open resignation letter Monday.

“The high command neither invited me nor did it lure me with a ministerial post. If aspiring for a cabinet berth is a mistake, I apologise for it,” said Vivekananda, a former MP from Kadapa and now a member of the legislative council.

YSR’s son had Monday alleged that the leadership was trying to create fissures in the family by luring his uncle with a cabinet berth.

Jagan, who reached family estate at Idupulapaya in Kadapa district early Tuesday, kept the ruling party and his supporters guessing about his next move. He spent the day meeting his close aides and discussed his future course of action.

Sources close to Jagan said he was adopting “wait and watch” stance before making his next move, which most likely is to float a new party to emerge as another Sharad Pawar or Mamata Banerjee to take on the Congress.

For the second day, his sympathisers at the grassroots level in the party and in local bodies in a few districts resigned en masse, but no MP or legislator has quit yet.

Jagan’s hard-hitting letter to Sonia Gandhi and the attacks on Congress party offices and burning of her effigies by his supporters in some districts evoked sharp reaction from the party leaders.

State Congress chief D.Srinivas warned that the party would not tolerate any insult to the leader. The ruling party leaders including many loyalists of YSR vied with each other to condemn the actions of Jagan and his supporters.

Showing their loyalty to Sonia Gandhi, several former ministers, MPs and legislators hit back at Jagan.

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