New Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy began his innings on Thursday with a well thought-out message to party rebels — he would be respectful to YSR's legacy.
Unlike his predecessor, K. Rosaiah, the new CM started with some advantages. Besides being known as a follower of late chief minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy, he is also from the same region —Rayalaseema.
The first thing Kiran Kumar Reddy did after his swearing-in on Thursday was to meet a child patient being treated under the health insurance scheme launched by YSR.
This is being seen as the first move towards taming YSR's son, Jaganmohan Reddy, who rebelled against Rosiah and triggered a crisis that eventually hit Rosaiah so hard.
Only two months ago, Jagan decried the government moves to cut down on some of YSR's schemes and said he would not remain a silent spectator.
"The way he (Kiran Kumar) has started his day shows that he does not want to confront Jagan or YSR's followers, as it could prove counter-productive. He would probably like to win over them by the process of inclusion," said a minister of the outgoing cabinet.
The CM received congratulatory messages from the MLAs of Kadapa district, Jagan's home turf. Jagan's Sakshi TV and newspaper, seen as anti-Congress till yesterday, went overboard in their coverage of Reddy's appointment.
The new chief minister's declaration that he was for a strong administration was lapped up by the police administration. Sources in the force said that the force was tired of Rosaiah's timid approach. See cartoon