iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Prasad Nichenametla & Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times
Hyderabad/New Delhi, February 18, 2014
Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy is likely to resign from the post on Wednesday in protest against the UPA government’s decision to divide the state and create Telangana. The move was confirmed by his close aide and state social welfare minister Pitani Satyanarayana. “The CM will address a press conference at 10.45 am and then proceed to Raj Bhavan to hand over his resignation to Governor ESL Narasimhan,” he said.

Andhra Congress sources said the chief minister’s office had during the day made phone calls to several party leaders, informing them about Reddy’s decision.

HT was the first to report on February 16 that Reddy has made up his mind to step down from the post. “The game is not over till the last ball is bowled” had been Reddy’s refrain till now but the passage of the Telangana bill appears to have sealed his fate.

The names of state cabinet ministers Kanna Lakshmi Narayana, Ramanarayana Reddy and Raghuveera Reddy are doing rounds as his possible successor.

The buzz in political circles is that Reddy might either form his own political party or join Samaikyandhra Party, but state Congress leaders pointed out that the chief minister has now developed cold feet. Apparently, a section is of the view that the proposed new party would have no desired impact as Reddy “took really long time” to step down and did not stall the bifurcation.

Half a dozen ministers and several legislators who had rallied behind Reddy were feeling let down by the CM. “He played a big game with us,” said a minister.

Ministers Erasu Prathap Reddy, Ghanta Srinivasa Rao and TG Venkatesh resigned on Tuesday, while others, including Dokka Manikya Prasada Rao and Kondru Murali declared that they were loyal Congress soldiers. “The CM is only capable of addressing press conferences, not forming a party,” said Rao, a minister from Seemandhra.

The Congress leadership had recently issued a stern warning to Reddy to “fall in line” or “face consequences” if he continued to create problems for the party on Telangana.