Andhra ministers take oath afresh (Lead)September 6th, 2009 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, Sep 6 (IANS) All the ministers in the Andhra Pradesh cabinet were Sunday evening sworn-in afresh on the advise of the state governor following the death of chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Wednesday.
Governor N.D. Tiwari administered en mass oath of office and secrecy to all 34 ministers at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the governor.
K. Rosaiah, who was installed as chief minister in what the party described as a “temporary arrangement”, and some top state officials attended the ceremony where the mood was sombre.
About a dozen ministers, who planned not to take oath afresh to press their demand for making the late chief minister’s son Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy his successor, relented following intervention by YSR’s close confidante K.V.P. Ramchandra Rao.
Rao told the ministers that their move would send wrong signals to the party’s central leadership and mar the prospects of Jagan.
The ministers, along with Finance Minister Rosaiah were sworn-in May 25, five days after YSR took over as chief minister for the second consecutive term.
Immediately after Sunday evening’s fresh oath-taking, Rosaiah and all ministers drove to the chief minister’s camp office and consoled Jagan and other bereaved members of YSR’s family. They returned to the state capital Sunday morning after YSR’s burial at his home town Pulivendula in Kadapa district.
The state governor tendered the advise for fresh oath of the ministers on the opinion of constitutional experts. The ministers would have to be sworn in again following the death of the chief minister, otherwise they would cease to be ministers, Tiwari said.
YSR died in a helicopter crash Sep 2 and the next morning his body was found along with four others accompanying him in the dense Nallamala forests in Kurnool district.
The same day Finance Minister K. Rosaiah was installed as the chief minister to avert constitutional breakdown.
There was utter confusion for the last two days over whether the ministers would have to be sworn in again. Rosaiah had Saturday told reporters that he sent a letter to the governor requesting him to allow the ministers to continue without having to take oath afresh.
However, the governor sent a letter to the chief minister’s office that the ministers needed to take oath again.
Advocate General D.V. Sitaram and Chief Secretary P. Ramakant Reddy also met Rosaiah and the governor to discuss the issue.
Rosaiah apprised the Congress party’s central leadership of the situation as the high command had already made it clear that his taking over as chief minister was only a temporary arrangement.
Amid the growing demand to make YSR’s son as the next chief minister, the central leadership said it would take a decision on the leadership issue only after the seven-day mourning period is over.
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