Thursday, October 1, 2009

Five Andhra legislators threaten to quit over Jagan issue

Five Andhra legislators threaten to quit over Jagan issue
Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s supporters in Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Congress appear to be heading for a confrontation with the party’s central leadership as five legislators Tuesday threatened to quit if the son of the late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was not made the state’s chief minister.The legislators from Kadapa district Tuesday set a three-day deadline for convening a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) to elect a new leader.
The legislators threatened to quit if the CLP meeting was not convened to enable legislators to elect Jaganmohan Reddy as their leader.
The first open threat came in the backdrop of increasing restlessness among Jagan loyalists over the continuing silence of the central leadership over the demand for making him the chief minister.
C. Adinarayana Reddy, K. Sreenivasulu, P.M. Kamalamma, G. Srikanth Reddy and A. Amarnath Redy, who hail from YSR’s native district of Kadapa, gave the ultimatum to the central leadership.
The Jagan supporters also stalled the general body meeting of the Kadapa Zila Parishad. The five legislators and YSR’s younger brother and member of legislative council Y.S. Viveknanda Reddy also squatted in the zila parishad premises in solidarity with the protestors.
Already, the campaign to anoint 37-year-old Jagan, a first-time MP from Kadapa, as YSR’s political successor had turned violent in some districts, causing major embarrassment to the party.
Jagan’s supporters had recently attacked the party office at Khammam and tore down posters carrying the pictures of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, evoking strong reaction from the party’s senior leaders.
Meanwhile, irked over “non-cooperation” by several ministers who are associated with the Jagan camp, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, who took over a day after YSR died in a helicopter crash on Sep 2, said those who did not want to work with him can resign.
“I was asked by the high command to take over as CM and I will continue in the position as long as the leadership wants me. If anyone wants to resign, they are free to do so,” said the 77-year-old chief minister.
His remark came against the backdrop of statements by some ministers that they wanted Jagan to be the chief minister.
The reaction from Jagan camp was instant. K. Surekha, a first time minister, said she would resign from the cabinet if Jagan was not made the chief minister. Another minister, K. Venkat Reddy, said it was the desire of an overwhelming majority of party legislators and the general public that Jagan be made the chief minister.