Andhra Cabinet crisis: Patel, Azad talk to rebels

Andhra Cabinet crisis: Patel, Azad talk to rebels

Hyderabad: The Congress central leadership has promptly swung into action to diffuse the crisis in Andhra Pradesh when a group of newly sworn-in ministers rebelled against the chief minister Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy protesting that they were given insignificant portfolios.

Ahmed Patel, the political affairs secretary to party president Sonia Gandhi, and union minister Guam Nabi Azad spoke to the rebel ministers in an attempt to pacify them, said an unhappy minister, who did not want to be named.

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The same minister said the chief minister has sent couple of his senior Cabinet colleagues Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy to talk to the unhappy ministers.

Vatti Vasantha Kumar, tourism minister in the latest Cabinet and rural development minister in last Cabinet, has resigned to both cabinet berth and legislator post on Wednesday night. Another minister from Telangana Komatireddy Venkat Reddy has also sent across his resignation on Thursday morning.

Deputy Speaker in the state Assembly Nadendla Manohar confirmed that he has received resignations of Vasantha Kumar and Venkat Reddy.

Meanwhile, the group of unhappy ministers has decided to attend the first meeting of the Cabinet scheduled for Thursday evening and lodge their protest for shifting them to insignificant portfolios from plum berths they had in the previous Cabinet, said the same minister quoted above.

“Both Azad and Ahmed Patel have assured us that they would discuss the issue with both the party president and chief minister and see what best can be done," said the same minister.