Despite Andhra Pradesh governor ESL Narasimhan pitching for President's rule in the state, the Congress high command has been debating the pros and cons of installing a chief minister for three months till the bifurcation process is complete and till fresh elections bring in new blood in both the new states.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi's chief troubleshooters — Ahmad Patel and Digvijay Singh — have been holding discussions with several contenders and their supporters on the best possible person to be chief minister. Sources say that senior Congress leader Jaipal Reddy or actor-turned MP Union tourism minister Chiranjeevi are being considered to be the chief minister as both are non-controversial.
"The issue is not about having a chief minister for elections. But that of selecting a candidate who can become a competent, political leader who can supervise the bifurcation process," said a senior Congress troubleshooter in Delhi on condition of anonymity.
The Congress is keen to hand over the state to Kapu leaders in a last ditch effort to save face in Seemandhra. It appears that Sonia has asked state and Central leaders to check if Andhra state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana or Chiranjeevi can hold sway till 2014 elections, and give the Congress any semblance of dignified existence by retaining Kapu votes.