Hyderabad: The Congress party high command has been asked to decide on the chief minister of Andhra PradesY.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy being able to take over the post that his father occupied at the time of his death about three months agoh, denting the chances of .
K. Rosaiah had been appointed chief minister in place of the late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR), who died in a helicopter crash on 2 September.
The state Congress legislature party (CLP) met in Hyderabad on Friday and adopted a resolution leaving it to the high command to finalize the leader.
A party leader said on condition of anonymity that this was a signal that Jagan Reddy would be kept away from the post.
“With the latest move, the Congress high command has sent clear signals to the Jagan camp that it is not keen on passing the baton to him,” said the Congress MLA.
The supporters of Jagan Reddy, also member of Parliament from Kadapa, had gone ahead with collecting the signatures of over 140 members of the legislative assembly, or MLAs, on a memorandum supporting his candidature.
The Congress high command wasn’t inclined to back the move and rejected Jagan Reddy’s request to contest as MLA from the Pulivendula constituency, which had fallen vacant with YSR’s demise.
“The Congress central leadership has denied the ticket to Jagan to contest from Pulivendula since it did not want the emergence of new power centres in the state Congress,” said another Congress MLA belonging to the anti-YSR camp, who also did not want to be named.
Instead, the Congress high command has allotted the ticket to YSR’s widow Vijayalaxmi and asked Jagan to convince her to stand in the by-election scheduled for 19 December.
Apart from this, the high command seems to have given a free hand to Rosaiah in ordering a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into accusations of mining irregularities by Obulapuram Mining Co. Ltd (OMC), owned by Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, who is close to the YSR family.
The opposition parties led by the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh have been demanding a probe into irregularities allegedly amounting to Rs10,000 crore and a halt on the mining leases awarded to the company.
Following this, the state government ordered the suspension of iron ore mining activities at six mines, of which five belonged to the Gali Reddy family.
The high command’s representatives, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and law minister M. Veerappa Moily, who arrived in Hyderabad on Friday to supervise the CLP meeting, met Jagan Reddy before the event and asked him to propose the resolution on leaving the decision of electing the leader to the high command.
The resolution was unanimously approved by 150 MLAs, 49 members of the legislative council (MLC) and 29 MPs, Mukherjee told the media after the CLP meeting.
The CLP meeting came a day after the results of elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. The Congress, although suffering a setback, emerged as the single largest party by winning 52 out of 150 seats. The opposition Telugu Desam Party gained by winning 45 seats, while the Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen (MIM) ended up strengthening itself with 43 seats.
The results was a setback to the Jagan Reddy camp since Congress lost in 26 out of 58 divisions he had campaigned in.
Addressing CLP members later, Moily expressed his displeasure over the performance in the elections and said the party should have won at least 75% of the seats.