Several party members hail him as the champion of the Telugu people

Congress leaders on Wednesday formed two groups to support the cause for a united State, hailing Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy’s silent protest at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar as ‘historic’.

At the Municipal Corporation office here, the Kiran camp, led by former municipal councillor P. Naveen Kumar Reddy, expressed their support by donning T-shirts bearing the Chief Minister’s image and carrying banners eulogising him. The banners drew heavily from cricketing terminology, describing the Chief Minister as a “former Ranji cricketer” and a “star batsman” who had hit the ball beyond the pavilion for a ‘six’, and was waiting for the third umpire (Parliament) to deliver the verdict. They also referred to the Supreme Court and the Rashtrapati Bhavan as the first and second umpires respectively.

“My batting is done and now I need your blessings!” screamed another banner.

Holding aloft a poster showing Mr. Kiran Reddy paying tributes at ‘Shakti Sthal’, Indira Gandhi’s memorial, Mr. Naveen Reddy hailed the former Prime Minister for her anti-bifurcation stand. He flayed the Congress government for introducing the bill on Telangana in Parliament, after it was rejected by the State Assembly.

He alleged that the Centre had inked a ‘secret agreement’ with the TRS and the YSR Congress on the issue of the State’s division. He observed that Kiran had done what no Chief Minister did in the 126-year-old history of Congress.

Meanwhile, Congress workers led by former MLA M. Venkatramana and city Congress chief P. Nagabhushanam sat on ‘silent protest’ with black scarves over their mouth. They said Mr. Kiran would remain in the hearts of the Telugu people as their true champion.

BJP’s travel plans

Meanwhile, BJP State general secretary A. Shanta Reddy criticised the Group of Ministers on Telangana for not including the proposals demanded by the party in the bill.

“Despite our demands, several issues like the setting up of a common capital, revenue sharing, fate of pending projects, establishing State and Central institutions etc., have not been properly addressed,” she said, while revealing indicating her party’s travel plan to New Delhi from February 7 to 15 for a phased protest.