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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Interim CM from Seemandhra may boost Congress prospects

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 20, 2014
First Published: 01:33 IST(20/2/2014) | Last Updated: 01:35 IST(20/2/2014)

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on Wednesday resigned not only from the post but the Congress party as well.

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Reddy had made up his mind sometime ago but delayed the decision, hoping that the move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh would get stalled in Parliament. However, the passage of the Telangana bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday dashed all his hopes.

There are indications that he may launch his own political party or join an outfit floated by his supporters though some in the Andhra Congress say he now has developed cold feet.

Some weeks ago, hoardings of a new political outfit, Samaikyandhra Party, had come up in Vijayawada much to the surprise of Congress leaders from all the three regions. The party has sought a cricket bat — Reddy is a former cricketer who had played for Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy tournament — as its election symbol and has map of united Andhra Pradesh in green and saffron colours. According to sources, Reddy’s camp believes that the new party would give tough fight to both the TDP and YSR Congress in Seemandhra. Since Reddy’s exit came at a time when the Lok Sabha and assembly elections are a few months away, it will not have much impact on the Congress prospects in the state.

The party now has two options — to go for President’s rule or appoint a new chief minister, preferably from Seemandhra, for the remaining period till the elections. In case the Congress goes for the second option, the names of state cabinet ministers Kanna Lakshmi Narayana (agriculture), Ramanarayana Reddy (finance) and Raghuveera Reddy (revenue) are doing rounds as Reddy’s possible successor. The move will placate the Seemandhra region and the new chief minister would be asked to preside over and complete the process of the state’s bifurcation.


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