Monday Sickness Brings Kiran a Splitting Headache

By: GS Vasu

It was a “sickness” he wouldn’t probably forget for long.

Feedback from the ground received by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s aides has revealed that just one act — his absence in the Assembly on Monday when the T bill was introduced — has demolished the aura he has assiduously built around himself in the last few months as the champion of united Andhra Pradesh.

In the last two days, legislators from Seemandhra were seen engaged in animated conversations in the Assembly lobbies and outside, discussing threadbare how the episode has damaged the cause of Samaikyandhra, though none has chosen to say so in public for obvious reasons. On his part, Kiran is understood to have told his aides that he did not expect such a negative fallout and regretted that not many were buying his “illness” theory. It was a fact that he was unwell towards the last weekend though there was no clarity on whether he was so sick even on Monday that he could not make it to the House. “He had roared like a Lion all these days — crossing all permissible limits while attacking his own party leadership. The impression that has gone around now is that he is acting as per a script,” a Seemandhra minister said. The frustration among Congress lawmakers of Andhra-Rayalaseema was evident. If some said Kiran struck a deal with Delhi, others felt he chickened out when it mattered the most on account of various “fears.” For those, who were hoping that he would float a new party in which they could find space to save their political career, it was all the more disappointing. While it is now more or less clear that he is unlikely to launch a new party, the prospects for such an idea, if at all they existed, have turned bleak after Monday’s episode. In a way, life has come full circle. Ever since the CWC resolution in favour of a T state, Kiran campers have used every conceivable opportunity to run down his rivals accusing them of hurting united AP’s cause.

If it was PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana who faced the ire first, then came the turn of senior minister Kanna Lakshminarayana. Soon after his meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, a channel perceived as belonging to the CM’s family, ran a story that Kanna had entered into a deal with Delhi to ensure smooth division if he was made the Chief Minister.

Even Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar was not spared. Leaks were given to suggest that Manohar was not cooperating in proroguing the House as it would help delay convening of the House to discuss the T bill. In the end, the Chief Minister himself suggested that the Assembly be convened from December 12 and by coincidence or otherwise, the T bill reached the State the same day.

If the Congress high command has chosen not to act against him all along despite his frontal attack against it, it was only to stop him from acquiring the image of a martyr in Seemandhra. Now having inflicted damage upon himself, Kiran is putting up a brave front.

To the Seemandhra MLAs who called on him on Tuesday, he reportedly said he would give a “fiery speech” in the Assembly at an appropriate time and that his group is burning midnight oil to explore legal options to stall formation of Telangana. However, they returned unconvinced unlike in the past.

Courtesy: The New Indian Express

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