"Yes," was his immediate response, when reporters asked the Chief Minister about claims that some of the rebel MLAs, currently facing disqualification proceedings for voting against the government, were in touch with him, seeking to get back into the Congress party.
Kiran, however, was quick to add in a lighter vein that MLAs from Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), CPI and CPM were also in touch with him. But he did not give any specific reply to questions about some of the rebel MLAs' desire to return to their parent party.
"The disqualification issue is under the Assembly Speaker's purview. As per rules we complained against 16 MLAs within 15 days of the voting on the no-confidence motion (on December 5 last). The issue is pending," he added.
Questioned about reports that the Congress was seeking to get the disqualification issue delayed in a bid to avoid by-elections in one go, the Chief Minister noted that nobody could influence the Speaker's decision.
"Conducting the elections is the Election Commission's job...not the Chief Minister's. You should not think everything is in my hands since I am the Chief Minister," Kiran quipped. The Chief Minister had an informal chat with news reporters after the Assembly was adjourned for the day today.
On the controversy related to the liquor syndicates in the state, in which, names of some ministers were involved, the Chief Minister said, the government was ready to make a statement on this in the Assembly. "I will talk on this issue only in the House," he added.