September 10, 2009 9:30:48 am
The central leadership of the Congress was engaged in extensive consultations with party leaders from Andhra Pradesh a day before the end of the mourning period on Thursday,after which a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting is likely to be convened to choose Y S Rajasekhar Reddys successor.
K V P Ramchandra Rao,the late YSRs close friend and advisor who is a key figure in the ongoing succession battle,on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to apprise him of the political situation in the state. This came a day after his 90-minute meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and AICC in-charge of the state Veerappa Moily were the other senior leaders on his appointment list.
In his deliberations with the Central leadership,Rao sought to neutralise the negative vibes in New Delhi against Jaganmohan explaining how the over-the-top Jagan-as-CM campaign by legislators and MPs from the state was spontaneous emotional outpourings,and not an orchestrated attempt to pressurise the high command as projected,according to Congress sources.
While there was no indication of any rethink from the Congress high command,which is learnt to have reservations against Jaganmohans candidature on account of his inexperience,there were some alternative names being explored with Union minister S Jaipal Reddy being one of them. They,however,did not find favour with Jaganmohans supporters who argued that these candidates came nowhere near the late YSR in terms of his stature and would not be acceptable to the people in the state. Party leaders believe that caretaker CM K Rosaiah could be the only compromise candidate if Jaganmohans claims are overlooked.
After his meeting with the PM,Rao said,The PM particularly enquired about the health of YSRs family,especially his wife.
The Congress president,meanwhile,continued consultations with party leaders and state MPs over the issue of succession. Former Union minister Renuka Chowdhury,a known YSR-baiter,was also one of the visitors at 10,Janpath on Wednesday.
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