Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy transferred key officers in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Monday evening, prompting reports that he would put in his papers on Tuesday when the Telangana Bill is set to be taken up by the Parliament.
Chief PRO Satya Rao, Principal Secretary to CM Ajeya Kallam, Secretary to CM Dr K S Jawahar Reddy, Special Secretary to CM S S Rawat, Special Secretary to CM N Sridhar, and Officer on Special Duty M Surender were all transferred late on Monday evening. They are reported to have got postings of their choice.
Kallam has been transferred to the Finance department, Jawahar Reddy to Irrigation, Sridhar to AP Food and Beverages, Rawat to Energy department and Surender to AP State Seeds Development Corporation. Satya Rao has been appointed chairman of Press Academy. Meanwhile, several other officials in the CMO started packing up on Monday.
The CM met DGP B Prasada Rao and Chief Secretary P K Mohanty in the evening to review the law and order situation that may arise on Tuesday. He also cleared a number of files that were pending.
Sources said the CM, who appeared disappointed and withdrawn, refused to meet some Congress leaders and MLAs in the evening. He also refused to respond to a letter faxed by PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana appealing to him, TDP and YSR Congress Party to unite and accompany him to New Delhi on Tuesday to make a final attempt to prevent bifurcation of the state.
“Botsa’s letter said the all-party delegation should meet the Prime Minister and leaders of other national parties and make one last request before the Bill is taken up for discussion. However, the CM has not yet responded to it,’’ said an official.
Earlier, the CM found himself isolated as many of his ministers, MLAs and MLCs stayed away from his meetings on Sunday evening and Monday afternoon. However, when the PCC chief called a meeting on Monday evening, many of them, including ministers Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, P Balaraju, Kanna Lakshminarayana, D Manikya Vara Prasad Rao, N Raghuveera Reddy, Mahidhar Reddy, V Vasantha Kumar, K Parthsaradhy, K Murali and G Aruna Kumari, turned up.
The first indication came when the CM’s loyalist, Health Minister K Murali, not only skipped his meeting but stated publicly that if Reddy quit the Congress and launched a new party, not many would follow him.
Sources said if the Bill is passed, even the few MLAs who support the CM may cross over to the PCC chief’s camp. The CM’s meetings were attended by just 32 MLAs and seven ministers, including loyalists T G Venkatesh, S Vijayrama Raju, E Pratap Reddy, G Srinivas Rao and P Satyanarayana.
In the evening, the PCC chief remarked that if the CM had resigned after the CWC moved the resolution to divide the state, it would have served some purpose. “I don’t think the CM’s resignation will do any good now. Instead of quitting the party, I would like to see every worker, MLA, MLC, leader and the Chief Minister staying with the party only,’’ he said.