Jagan loyalists change tune?

Hyderabad, November 01: Loyalists of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in the K Rosaiah ministry seem to have changed their tune today in the presence of AP Congress Affairs in-charge Veerappa Moily and sought to impress on him that neither they nor their leader had any role in the dramatic exit of Women and Child Welfare Minister Konda Surekha from the State Cabinet.

As soon as Surekha left the Cabinet day before yesterday, the impression had gained ground that it was yet another tactic by the Jagan Mohan Reddy camp to pressure the party leadership in Delhi to instal their leader as chief minister.

Now, unsure as to the high command’s view of the development, the ministers concerned — Danam Nagender, DK Aruna, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and Sabitha Indra Reddy — apparently decided to play it safe and met Moily, who was in Hyderabad to coordinate party preparations for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, and told him that neither they nor Jagan had any hand in Surekha’s exit from the Cabinet and that it was her personal decision.

Moily, for his part, also seems inclined not to complicate matters, and Chief Minister K Rosaiah made things easier when he told Moily that there was no big design behind Surekha’s exit and that she had left the Cabinet on her own.

The late YSR’s confidant and MP KVP Ramachandra Rao too conferred with Moily, while PCC chief D Srinivas told Moily that Surekha’s resignation would not have any impact on the prospects of the party in the GHMC polls and that it was a ‘‘non-issue’’. Moily told them Sonia Gandhi had a dim view of groupism and that they should not let it emerge. Striking a balance, he said it was necessary to please YSR’s followers by implementing the schemes he had initiated.

For their part, the Jagan Mohan Reddy loyalists requested Moily to ensure that the Congress Legislature Party met at the earliest and that the entire CLP would abide by whatever decision the party took in regard to election of the leader. To this, Moily said a decision on the CLP meeting would be taken by the high command at the earliest. Apparently briefed about the likely impact of Surekha’s exit from the Cabinet in Delhi itself, Moily, on arrival here this morning, said that there was no possibility of any other minister doing a Surekha and that the party and the government were in fine fettle. He told newsmen the party was not contemplating any action against Surekha. Moily reportedly told some leaders who called on him that Rosaiah would continue as CM as long as he worked efficiently.