Hyderabad, Sept 11 :
Perhaps the Union Minister for Urban Development, Mr S Jaipal Reddy, has suffered the rude shock of his life on Friday when the Congress Members of Parliament (MPs) from Andhra Pradesh met him and, instead of supporting his candidature for the chief ministership, made an appeal to him to stand solidly behind Mr Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, the son of the late chief minister, Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.
Against the backdrop of the Congress High Command sending signals that Mr Jaipal Reddy is also in the race for the top post in the State, the Friday’s meeting of the Congress MPs with the Union Minister has assumed significance. Though Mr Jaipal Reddy was counting on the solidarity of the MPs to step up his efforts to ascend the hot seat, the MPs on the contrary, appealed to him to support Mr Jaganmohan Reddy.
Those who met the Union Minister on Friday morning in New Delhi included Mr Kanumuri Bapiraju, Mr Sarvey Satyanarayana, Mr Gutta Sukehnder Reddy and the convener of the party MPs, Mr Ponnam Prabhakar. Minutes before the MPs were to meet the Union Minister, sources close to Mr Jaipal in Hyderabad strongly felt that the Parliament members were coming to express their solidarity with him thus brightening his chances for the chief ministership.
However, emerging from the meeting the MPs, Mr Jaipal Reddy is reported to have told the media persons that the MPs made a fervent appeal to him to back Mr Jaganmohan Reddy for the post. They even expressed the hope that the Union Minister would convince those leaders in the party, who are not evenly poised towards the candidature of Mr Jagan for the top slot.
What is giving credence to the reports that Mr Jaipal Reddy was shocked at the developments is that he too made comments that he had nothing to tell the media with regard to the new leadership of the Congress Legislature Party in Andhra Pradesh. “In fact, I want to remain in national politics for some more time and will strive to acquire a place in the South political scene as a good parliamentarian,” he observed.
The comments of Mr Jaipal Reddy and the observations made by these MPs after meeting him are indications enough that the hopes of the Union Minister to reach the hot seat are dashed.