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'Headmaster' for Andhra

His party colleagues say he's often like a headmaster wanting discipline in everything — be it in the Andhra Pradesh assembly, which Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, 50, presided over as speaker for nearly one-and-a-half years or in his private life.
By Ashok Das | Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
UPDATED ON NOV 26, 2010 01:02 AM IST

His party colleagues say he's often like a headmaster wanting discipline in everything — be it in the Andhra Pradesh assembly, which Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, 50, presided over as speaker for nearly one-and-a-half years or in his private life.

Even on Wednesday, when he was anointed chief minister, the trademark discipline was evident. When TV reporters surrounded him and started shooting questions, he said he would not reply unless there was some semblance of order and they asked questions one by one.

Kiran Reddy was noticed by the Congress high command last year during the height of the Telangana agitation when legislators from the Congress from Telangana and coastal Andhra had resigned en masse over bifurcation of the state.

When the party leadership was thinking of imposing President's Rule, Kiran Reddy handled the situation deftly by sitting on the resignations and later persuading the MLAs to take them back.

Reddy, who calls himself a pucca Hyderabadi, comes from a prominent political family. His father the Late N Amarnath Reddy was the Congress strongman of Chittoor district and was considered the political guru of two leaders who went on to become chief ministers — N Chandrababu Naidu and YS Rajasekhar Reddy.

An alumnus of the elite Hyderabad Public School and a graduate in commerce from the popular Nizam's College, Kiran Reddy also has a law degree.

Making his electoral debut in 1989 from Vayalpadu seat, which was earlier represented by his father, he was elected to the assembly four times.

In a state where political groupism is endemic, he got closer to YSR and was rewarded with the post of the party's chief whip in the assembly in 2004. And he discharged that role effectively while taking on the might of the Opposition and discrediting Chandrababu Naidu.

An avid cricketer in his college days and a batch-mate of former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin, Kiran Reddy had represented Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy.

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