Monday, January 23rd, 2012
Caste row divides AP Cong. leaders
Hyderabad: The simmering discontent over the inclusion of two Kapus,
both from the erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), in the State Cabinet
came out in the open with a section of Congress leaders expressing
their displeasure here on Sunday.
It may be recalled that senior leaders like Gade Venkata Reddy,
Paladugu Venkata Rao, K S Rao and Rayapati Sambasiva Rao have been
issuing statements during the last few days expressing their
unhappiness that they were ignored while those who joined the party
later were given prominence by the leadership.
Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who spent more than an hour at Gandhi
Bhavan receiving the Ministers, MLAs and MLCs and others, gave them a
patient hearing and understood to have assured to do justice to them
by taking up the matter with the Congress high command.
Even during his breakfast meeting which he attended at the residence
of former Union Minister Renuka Choudhary, which was attended by
Deputy Chief Minister C Damodar Raja Narasimha, Ministers M Mukesh
Goud and D Nagender and others, the issue figured during the one to
one meeting Azad had with her for about 10 minutes.
Ms Choudhary reportedly brought thefeelings of the seniors to Azad's
notice saying that the Congress should give equal importance to them
as well as Dalits, who have been with the party and enjoyed good
positions for many years.
With by-elections to 24 Assembly seats and elections to the urban
local bodies and cooperative societies also in the offing, the seniors
want the party to consider them in the nominated posts and also during
the next Cabinet reshuffle. While assuring to look into the issues
raised by the seniors, Azad, however, reportedly "advised" that the
senior leaders should not talk in public as it would adversely affect
the party's image.
Speaking to reporters after meeting the Union Minister, Amalapuram MP
G V Harsha Kumar said that they had high hopes after Azad was made
in-charge of the party affairs in the state but now they were
disappointed at his style of functioning.
Not all sections had their representations in the Coordination
Committee and he held Azad responsible for the same. "The communities
which helped the party defeat PRP in the 2009 elections were being
ignored while the same party was being given preference over others in
all matters," he said.
He alleged that a sinister plot was being hatched by some leaders to
see that the BCs, SCs, STs and minorities were distanced from the
party and if this continued, the party would lose its position in the
However, Rajya Sabha member V Hanumantha Rao refuted the charge that
Kapus were given more importance in the party. "Why this hullabaloo
when only two Kapus were made ministers? Only the minorities have
enjoyed power all these years and opportunity should be given to
others," he said.
Though the Chief Minister has sacked Dr P Shankar Rao from the
Cabinet, they did not speak on the issue as it was a party decision
and there was also no need for another Cabinet reshuffle. The State
Government should fill up nominated posts so that the party workers
would fight against TDP and YSR Congress in the state, he added.
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