Kiran proved he is no pushover, and he came up with smart moves that kept both T-protagonists and his critics guessing all through
As he lays down office as the last Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh after an arguably tumultuous innings, Kiran Kumar Reddy would have the satisfaction of fulfilling his promise of hitting a last ball six.
Not only did he take on the party high command showing defiance at every stage of the bifurcation process but succeeded at least partially, in creating an impression among the people of Seemandhra that he fought for them till the end as promised, crowning himself champion of united Andhra Pradesh.
His detractors from Telangana may see him as patently partisan “Chief Minister of Seemandhra only” and count his action packed episodes as part of a political drama enacted by him in collusion with the party high command to keep the party’s flag flying in Seemandhra and shore up the sagging morale of the cadre there.
Orchestrated drama, they contend, as his party leadership all through looked the other way with venerable AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh strangely defending all his rebellious actions from defiance of CWC decision favouring Telangana on July 30 to the dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and now criticism heaped on Prime Minister. If it were any other Chief Minister not patronised by 10 Janpath, he would have been eased out long ago. No surprise, even the new party he is planning is being seen with suspicion, as a last ditch effort by the Congress to hoodwink the people of Seemandhra.
Yet Mr. Kiran Reddy did prove that he is not a pushover in politics as seasoned politicians like N. Chandrababu Naidu would have everyone believe. Politically savvy he came up with some smart moves that kept both Telangana protagonists and his critics guessing all through.
Unforgettable would be the googly he masterminded along with his Nizam College contemporary, Assembly Speaker, N. Manohar in the form of resolution rejecting the AP Reorganisation Bill, adopted by voice vote amid din in the Assembly. It left the Telangana camp flummoxed till of course, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar did the ditto in introducing the Bill.
When he took over the reins over three years ago, no one would have given him a chance to pull through the remainder of his term given the political turmoil the State was plunged into, dissidence within his party and his own highly egocentric persona that came in the way of trusting his Cabinet colleagues and winning political friends.
With so many challenges, Mr. Kiran Reddy hardly found time to administer the State and expectedly governance took a backseat. But he can take credit for bringing about SC/ST Sub-Plan legislation, Bangaru Thalli, a girl child welfare scheme and creating thousands of government jobs for youth. Having weathered many a political storm including two no-trust motions, it has to be seen if this solitary reaper will be able to help Congress or the new party he is planning to launch in Seemandhra, face the stiff challenge posed by already well-entrenched YSRC and Telugu Desam.