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Updated: February 20, 2014 10:45 IST

Congress leaders desert sinking ship

Ravi Reddy
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They are now under intense pressure to chalk out the future course of action

A sizeable section of the Seemandhra leaders are dropping the Congress party like a hot potato but are reluctant to take the call on whether they should sail with former Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy in case he launches his own party.

In the last 24 hours over two dozen Congress MLAs quit the party protesting the passage of bifurcation bill in ‘undemocratic manner’ in Lok Sabha. Congress leaders from Seemandhra are increasingly under pressure to chalk out their future course of action with their supporters threatening to join other parties like TDP and the YSR Congress.

There is near unanimity among the disgruntled leaders that Congress was a sinking ship in Seemandhra. “With what face can we seek votes when the Congress has completely ignored the Seemandhra people,” a distraught Congress MLA from coastal Andhra remarked. He said that the confidence levels of party men was at an all time low fearing worst backlash from the people. Party cadres are outraged at the actions of some Union Ministers, MPs and some State Ministers and the legislators, who reportedly toed the high command line, he pointed out.

The Pradesh Congress Committee in its report to the high command before the bifurcation process had said that out of the 91 MLAs from Seemandhra, as many as 30 were all set to defect to the TDP and the YSR Congress. A senior Congress leader said passage of the bifurcation bill will only hasten further defections to the two parties.

On the flip side, talk of Mr. Kiran Reddy’s new party getting solid backing from the disgruntled Congress MLAs started to get evaporated as few Ministers and legislators were present when the former announced his resignation. After submitting his resignation letter to Governor, Mr. Reddy held a review meeting with his supporters at the camp office where the overwhelming view was to launch the new party. Mr. Reddy it is understood told them to wait till conclusion of the Parliament session on February 21.

“We will review the situation either on February 22 or 23 and decide the future course of action,” Mr. Reddy was quoted as telling his supporters.

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