Andhra Pradesh is yet to be divided but the Congress party is in the process of splintering. Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has no option but to look to form his own party to ensure his own political survival. “Political compulsions make it necessary for him (Reddy) to explore ways of forming his own party,” said a senior cabinet colleague of the CM speaking on condition of anonymity.
The chief minister continues to meet petitioners from his own constituency and other visitors in his office in the state secretariat, but it is no secret in the political circles that Reddy is the night-watchman in cricketing terms as he waits for the central government to go through the procedures of forming Telangana.
Reddy and many in the party from the Seemaandhra region know that they face electoral decimation in the 2014 when assembly and Lok Sabha elections will be held simultaneously. A senior party functionary and cabinet minister speaking to dna on condition of anonymity gave voice to the stoic determination that there is no going back on the Telangana issue, that the party high command’s decision will be implemented. He would not even concede that many of the Congress members from the Seemandhra region have reservations about the bifurcation. He said there is no looking back and Telangana has to be formed.
Asked about the prospects of the Congress in Andhra region, he admitted that the party will lose.
It is the imminent defeat of the party that is forcing chief minister Kiran Reddy and many of his colleagues from the other side, to look for ways of safeguarding their political careers. One of the ways of doing it is to form a party of their own, which may not pose a challenge to YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party which is being seen even by the Congress people as the unchallengeable gale force, but which will provide the proverbial fig-leaf to save their own shattered political image.
The plan seems to be this. The state government dominated by Congress leaders from the Andhra region, including Kiran Reddy, would be throwing in their weight during the consultations with the Group of Ministers (GoM) which has been set up to work out the implementation of the decision to form Telangana. The Congress ministers from Seemandhra want to safeguard the interests of the Seemandhra region as much as they can at this stage.