HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Will not contest if Andhra remains divided, says Kiran Reddy

Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times  Hyderabad, April 20, 2014
First Published: 01:27 IST(20/4/2014) | Last Updated: 02:32 IST(20/4/2014)

Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, who left the Congress for creating Telangana and formed his own party, said he would not contest elections as long as the state remains divided.

“I did not file nomination as I do not want to enter a divided state’s assembly,” Reddy told HT from Pileru. He was in his constituency in Chittoor district on Saturday, the final day of nominations for Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Seemandhra, to accompany his brother Kishore Reddy who is contesting the assembly polls.

“I had served as chief minister of united AP and resigned over bifurcation. I would like to re-enter the assembly when the state is reunited again,” Reddy said, adding that his unification efforts would continue.

Reddy, chief minister for three years, had filed a case against bifurcation in the Supreme Court and is presently busy campaigning for the Jai Samaikhyandhra Party he had set up in March seeking votes from both Telangana and Seemandhra people for a united state.

Kiran Reddy is the second Congress rebel in Andhra Pradesh after Jaganmohan Reddy, who formed the YSR Congress. He had the UPA-authored Telangana Bill defeated in the state assembly and even sat on a dharna in Delhi against the move.

This gained him popularity in Seemandhra, but most leaders are now deserting him. “But I am firm on my commitment,” he said, reiterating both regions would suffer irreparable damage after bifurcation.

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