Congress plans big changes

Major changes in the state Congress unit, including a reshuffle of the Cabinet, will take place in phases, starting with the appointment of a new PCC chief. All the changes are expected to be over by the end of June. The Cabinet reshuffle will take place once the Election Commission declares the merger of the Praja Rajyam with the Congress.

The Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, submitted a list of names to be considered for appointments to various political posts to the state party affairs in-charge, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, when he went to Delhi on Sunday evening after attending a marriage function in Anantapur. According to one version in the AICC headquarters, the party high command may appoint a strong backward community leader from Coastal Andhra as the new PCC chief, dispensing with tradition of appointing a person from Telangana region as the CM is from the other region. It is learnt that some other key posts like Speaker and council chairman will go to Telangana.

Sources indicate that a new PCC chief will be appointed soon followed by filling up of posts to Deputy CM, Assembly Speaker and Legislative Council chairman and deputy chairman besides filling five vacant MLC posts under the Governor’s nomination quota. According to sources, the Praja Rajyam chief, Mr K. Chiranjeevi, had recommended the name of senior party functionary, Mr Kotagiri Vidyadhara Rao, for appointment under the Governor’s quota MLCs.

After meeting Mr Azad, the CM along with state MPs met the Union finance minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, and submitted a detailed memorandum on the need to consider enhancement of minimum support price by `200 to procure paddy. He also requested the FM to grant permits to export rice in order to get remunerative prices for the farmers. It is learnt that both Union home minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, and law minister, Mr Veerappa Moily, would be meeting on Monday to take stock of the demand to scrap 14 (F) clause from the Presidential Orders, 1975 to club police recruitments in the Zonal system.

The CM had an exclusive meeting with the Congress MP, Mr Rahul Gandhi, for about 10 minutes on the sidelines. He will return to the state on Monday.(DC)

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