Amid indications that the Centre might impose President’s rule in Andhra Pradesh in view of continued violence following the Congress party’s nod to creation of Telangana state, chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy is likely to step down from the post.
Congress sources said Reddy has been mulling to quit for a long time now and had even offered to put in his papers soon after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) gave its nod to the bifurcation of the state.
A defiant Reddy continues to strongly argue in favour of a united Andhra Pradesh, a move which has angered the party’s central leadership. “It will be advantageous if the state remains united...We can achieve anything,” the cheif minister has maintained.
He is of the view that the Congress will be wiped out from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions if it goes ahead with the bifurcation move.
The Congress high command has made it repeatedly clear to Seemandhra leaders that the CWC decision for creation of a separate state of Telangana is final and irreversible.
Reddy has also come under fire from senior party colleagues who have questioned his change of stand. These leaders are asking why Reddy did not resist the move when his views were sought on the proposed move to divide the state. “He could have shown his opposition to the move by resigning from the post,” a central leader said.
Union tribal affairs minister Kishore Chandra Deo recently alleged that he along with Andhra Pradesh Congress chief Botcha Satyanarayana were “sponsoring and encouraging violent agitations in the state with a feeling of injured guilt”.
Sources said Reddy has also assured the Seemandhra leaders that all of them could resign en masse at an appropriate time to register their protest against the move.
But the cheif minister might step down in the next few days in view of emerging indications that Andhra Pradesh was heading for President’s rule.
During the hearing on a petition against the strike by government employees, assistant solicitor general Ponam Ashok Goud, who is the Centre’s representative, informed the Andhra Pradesh high court that the President's rule in the state can't be ruled out if the state is unable to handle the situation.