Andhra Pradesh cabinet stands divided on regional lines


Hyderabad : The Andhra Pradesh cabinet stands divided on regional lines with ministers accusing one another of promoting interests of their respective regions in the background of the demand for statehood to Telangana.

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The ministers from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions took strong exception to some of their counterparts and also their party members of parliament (MPs) from Telangana disrupting their visits to the troubled region, sources said.

The ministers pointed fingers at one another in the presence of Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, who himself comes from Andhra region.

Ministers from Andhra and Rayalaseema criticised their colleagues from Telangana for supporting Telangana lawyers’ demand for 42 percent share to the region in the appointment of judicial officers.

Information Technology Minister K. Venkat Reddy last week openly backed the Telangana lawyers’ agitation and demanded that a man from the region be appointed the advocate general.

The ministers from Andhra and Rayalseema found fault with their own party colleagues for stalling their visits to Telangana for opposing the demand for separate statehood, sources said.

Minister for Labour Mukesh Goud, who hails from Hyderabad but is opposed to separate Telangana state, urged the chief minister to seek permission from the party’s central leadership for action against four parliament members for deriding those opposed to separate Telangana.

He along with ministers from Andhra and Rayalaseema complained that the four MPs — Madhu Yashki Goud, G. Vivek, Manda Jagannatham and G. Sukhender Reddy — were acting against the party interests.

They alleged that the MPs had colluded with Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) by crtitcising their own party leaders and ministers.

The MPs had recently taken up issues like 42 percent share for Telangana in Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission postings and judicial officers’ posts.

Chief Minister Rosaiah advised ministers to exercise restraint and stay united. He asked them to wait for the report of the Srikrishna Committee on the Telangana issue.

The committee was constituted by the central government in February to study the issue after violent protests for and against a separate Telangana rocked the state for nearly three months.

Meanwhile, government whip Shailajanath from Rayalaseema region has taken exception to the government’s written assurance to Telangana lawyers for providing equitable share to the region in the appointment of judicial officers.

“This move has set a bad precedent and may create many problems in future,” he said in a letter to the chief minister.

Telangana lawyers called off their agitation Saturday night after the Andhra Pradesh government agreed to provide 42 percent share to the region in the appointment of judicial officers.

Shailajanath wanted to know from the government under what capacity MPs Madhu Yashki and Vivek participated in the talks between the government and the agitating lawyers.

He said the government should have also invited lawyers from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions for the talks.