Rebel Jagan meets Sonia for 1st time after bypoll drubbing

Andhra Pradesh map
New Delhi, May 22: Congress' crushing defeat at the hands of rebel Y S Jaganmohan Reddy in the prestigious by- elections to Kadapa is understood to have come up for discussion when Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy met party chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday, May 21.

In the first meeting after the Congress nominees lost badly to Jagan and his mother Y S Vijayalaxmi in last week''s by-elections, Kiran Reddy is believed to have explained the reasons for the party''s defeat to Gandhi.

The meeting also assumes significance as it comes in the backdrop of several MLAs openly expressing their displeasure over the functioning of the Chief Minister.

Congress nominees in Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly D L Ravindra and Y S Vivekananda Reddy respectively lost to Jagan and Vijayalaxmi despite the ruling party deploying over 15 ministers to oversee the elections.

During the 30-minute meeting, Reddy was accompanied by Ahmed Patel, Gandhi''s political adviser, and Ghulam Nabi Azad, the party in-charge of Andhra Pradesh.

There was no official word on what transpired at the meeting.

Earlier, the Chief Minister met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and requested him to enhance the Minimum Support Price for rice by Rs 200.

Reddy said he explained to Singh about godown space constraint and the FCI is not in a position to accept the levy price as offered by the rice millers in some major rice procuring districts.

"Due to this the millers are holding the rice stocks in their godowns and are not in a position to make paddy purchases briskly. This is having an adverse effect on the paddy prices and the farmers are not able to dispose of their paddy at MSP," he said.

With Home Minister P Chidambaram, Reddy sought Rs 1744 crores for relief and rehabilitation of flood victims.

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