Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who rebelled against the Congress high command over the state’s bifurcation, today maintained that he has no plans of floating a new political party.
“I have no such thoughts,” the Chief Minister told reporters during an informal chat on the occasion of New Year’s Day at his camp office this afternoon, putting the strong rumours on the issue to rest.
Speculation had been rife over the past few months that the Chief Minister would walk out of Congress and launch his own political party, banking on his new-found image as a ‘champion’ of a united Andhra Pradesh.
Ever since the Congress’ Central Working Committee adopted a resolution to bifurcate AP and create a new state of Telangana, Mr. Reddy had been vehemently opposing it.
He asserted many a times in the last five months that the draft Bill — referred to the state Legislature under Article 3 of the Constitution — would be defeated and dared the Congress high command and the Central government to go ahead with the bifurcation process in the event.
Mr. Reddy, however, stressed on Thursday that he was speaking only against the Congress’ decision (on bifurcation) and never defied the party as such.
“Even people of Telangana region are seeking a united state,” the Chief Minister told reporters who went to greet him on New Year’s Day.
“I have received several requests from Telangana people for keeping the state united and that’s my wish too,” Mr. Reddy added.
“Right now, I am focusing on the debate in the Legislature on the draft AP Reorganisation Bill-2013. If the debate takes place, we can deliberate in detail on the losses and gains to each region if the state is bifurcated or not,” the Chief Minister pointed out.
Reacting to YSR Congress’ threat that it would not let the debate (on the draft Bill) take place in the Assembly, the Chief Minister noted that it would be better if the party took part in the debate rather than create a ruckus outside (the House).