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   Andhra CM in trouble, health minister DL resigns
Triggering a virtual rebellion against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, state Health Minister DL Ravindra Reddy on Thursday sent his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi "taking moral responsibility" for the party's poor show in the by-elections.

Reddy, who had been at loggerheads with the CM for sometime now, faxed his resignation letter to Gandhi after the party's rout in the by-elections to seven Assembly constituencies and suggested that the entire Cabinet, including Kiran, quit to give a "free hand" to the Congress President for "cleansing" the government and the party in the state.

Raising his voice against the CM, his deputy Damodar Rajanarasimha Rao suggested that Kiran better "step aside" if he could not set things in order.

"The by-election results are a serious warning to the Congress and the government," Damodar observed today.

Former minister P Shanker Rao also demanded that the Cabinet own responsibility for the bypoll debacle and quit at once.

Other senior leaders of the party, including some former ministers and leaders of Telangana, too started seeking the sack of the CM, holding him squarely responsible for the drubbing in the by-elections.

The Deputy CM held an informal meeting with ministers and legislators belonging to Scheduled Castes in the Assembly today wherein the by-poll results were discussed.

Sources said the Deputy Chief Minister was trying to shore up support to fellow SC legislators in his support to challenge the CM.

For the record, Damodar said the SC ministers and legislators would meet formally on Monday to discuss the implementation of the Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and other issues related to the community.

At the same time, some senior leaders from Telangana region are gunning for Pradesh Congress Committee president Botsa Satyanarayana's head as well, holding him "equally responsible" for the sorry state of affairs.

Ravindra Reddy said the rebellion in the party might grow if results of the impending by-elections to 18 Assembly constituencies and Nellore Lok Sabha seat (that has seven Assembly segments under it) went against the party.

"It is not just the by-elections to seven Assembly constituencies but the party has been facing rout in successive elections right from the election of Legislative Council members (from Local Authorities Constituencies) and the Kadapa by-elections.

"If corrective steps are not taken, it will be worse for the party in the forthcoming by-polls as well," he warned.

Taking a dig at the Chief Minister for comparing the by-election results with a cricket match, he said: “Is this the way we take note of a serious development that affects the party in the long run? The party ought to act fast on these developments.”
Fri 23 Mar, 2012,9:44:36 PM
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