After a prolonged deliberation running into weeks, ex-chief minister of Andhra Pradesh N Kiran Kumar Reddy has announced forming a new party to "uphold the self-respect of the Telugu people."
Reddy, who opposed the state's division to the extent of defying his party leadership, had resigned from the CM, MLA posts and the Congress membership following passage of the Telangana bill in Parliament last month.
Another staunch opposer L Rajagopal, the Vijayawada MP, went a step ahead and announced retirement from politics.
"But I never told I would take sanyas from politics," Reddy said during a press conference on Thursday.
Reddy was accompanied by expelled Congress MPs Sabbam Hari, Sai Prathap, Harsha Kumar and an ex-minister Pithani Satyanarayana. Two more MPs - Vundavalli Arun Kumar, representing Rajahmundry and Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, who Reddy indicated – are with him. They could not make it to the event due to personal reasons.
Details of the party including name and agenda, would be announced in a public rally on March 12. Reddy, trying to strike a chord with the Telugu sentiment chose Rajahmundry, a Coastal Andhra town known as cultural capital of the Telugus, as the venue.
But it has to be seen how effective the new party would be in the already divided state i.e. Seemandhra where Reddy would aim. Some of the ministers and MLAs, who were close to Reddy and wanted him to announce last month itself, have joined the TDP.
To the allegations from his former cabinet colleague Dokka Manikyavaraprasada Rao that he is forming a party to be shielded from probe into his deeds as CM in last 6 months, Reddy said that he is ready for any kind of probe. "My tenure is an open book. I have nothing to fear of anything."
Reddy blamed YSRCP and TDP as failing in representing the true aspirations of the Telugus. Reddy even said there could be a possibility of Telangana and Seemandhra merging again and referred to the case of East and West Germany uniting with collapse of the Berlin wall.
"Here, there is not even that wall."
Reddy also approached the Supreme Court against Centre’s decision to bifurcate AP to create Telangana, whose foundation day is scheduled for June 2.
Reddy’s petition is scheduled to be heard on Friday before a bench headed by the Chief Justice P Sathasivam, alongside similar petitions. The SC has declined petitions challenging AP’s bifurcation on two previous occasions, saying they were ‘premature’ as the bill hadn’t then been passed by Parliament.
It had, however, clarified that the petitions could be entertained at an appropriate stage. The bill was finally passed by the Rajya Sabha on February 20.