Kiran Kumar Reddy likely to drop plans to float new party

Last Updated: Friday, February 28, 2014 - 19:28

Hyderabad: Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, who will be listed in history as the last Chief Minister of an "undivided" Andhra Pradesh, is likely to drop his plans to float a new political party.

"Since there has been no official word about the possible launch of the new party, there will not be any official announcement about shelving his plans," an expelled Congress MP in Kiran`s camp said here on Friday.

It was widely expected that Reddy, along with six MPs expelled from the Congress, would announce the launch of a new political party in Seemandhra on a "united" Andhra Pradesh platform on March 2, but the idea has now been shelved.
Kiran quit as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and MLA on February 19, besides simultaneously leaving the Congress, protesting against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

Though it was never publicly stated, Reddy had plans to float a new regional party by positioning himself as a "champion of united Andhra Pradesh".

At least eight ministers and over a dozen MLAs had joined him when Reddy walked out of Congress and handed over his resignation to the state Governor, but now only two ministers are ready to sail with him.

Six MPs, namely Undavalli Arun Kumar, Sabbam Hari, Lagadapati Rajagopal, Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, A Sai Pratap and G Harsha Kumar, are said to be with Reddy since they have no other political option.
However, majority of MLAs and ministers, who were expected to join hands with Reddy, have started joining the Telugu Desam Party, while some others have proclaimed their loyalty to the Congress.

Kiran held three rounds of meetings with these MPs and MLAs to chalk out his course of action and also conferred with student leaders from Seemandhra for their views.

"We will continue our fight for a united Andhra Pradesh,"
Reddy told students, despite the fact that bifurcation of the state is now just a step away.

During private talks with MPs and MLAs, however, Reddy was skeptical about plans to float a new party.

"Everything has already happened. So what can we do now," was his question to them.

The fact that the movement for a "united AP" lost its steam after people accepted the reality of a separate Telangana, is what made Reddy change his mind, sources close to him said.

Reddy is also said to be caught in an "ethical dilemma," since he wanted to go to the people not merely as a "champion of united AP", but also as an able administrator.

Though Kiran`s plan was to seek votes in the name of "development", by showcasing his track record as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, to build a modern (residual) Andhra Pradesh, he had always maintained that the slew of welfare and development schemes he launched as AP CM were "of the Congress party" and implemented "with Sonia Gandhi`s blessings", sources said.

Thus, Reddy would have found it difficult to stake his claim to any of the schemes, though some like Bangaru Talli (girl child protection scheme), Jala Prabha (micro irrigation) and Yuva Kiranalu (employment opportunity for youth) were essentially his ideas, sources said.

As Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, he never claimed personal credit for these schemes and hence he may not be able to do so at present.

Nevertheless, he plans to go to people soon by organising public meetings in towns like Rajahmundry and Tirupati.

"That will be one last ditch effort to test the waters vis-a-vis the united Andhra Pradesh sentiment. The new party plan will be finally laid to rest after these meetings," an MP from Reddy`s camp said.

PTI

First Published: Friday, February 28, 2014 - 19:28

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