Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy’s exit as the 16th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh was as dramatic as his entry in November 2010.
His 39 month stint as the Chief Minister was marked by tumultuous events that won him friends as well as foes in the party. Mr. Reddy was catapulted into the Chief Minister’s seat, though he did not have experience as a Cabinet Minister.
Coming from a family of politicians which had been associated with the Congress party for 50 years, Mr. Reddy had hands-on experience of politics watching his father N. Amarnath Reddy, work as a Minister in P.V. Narasimha Rao’s Cabinet.
The 53-year-old Congress leader did his schooling from Hyderabad Public School and went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Nizam College. A promising cricketer, Mr. Reddy represented the state in the under-22 category and the South Zone.
He got into active politics in 1989 after the demise of his father. He made his debut as an MLA from Vayalapad constituency in Chittoor district in 1989 but lost the next elections. He made a comeback in 1999 and went on to retain the Vayalpad seat in 2004 too.
He blossomed under the leadership of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who was instrumental in hand-picking him as the Chief Whip in 2004. Coveted post awaited him as Mr. Reddy was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the 13th Assembly in 2009. He was in the thick of action when as many as 143 MLAs of different parties resigned after Centre announced creation of Telangana on December 9, 2009. In a matter of 13 months, he was slated to take over as the Chief Minister in November 2010.
Mr. Reddy was credited with continuing the welfare programmes launched by the late YSR but also introducing new initiatives. Some of the new schemes he launched included the Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu to provide jobs to youth in private sector, Indira Jala Prabha providing for assured irrigation to 10-lakh acres of lands given to SC/STs. He brought cheer among the poor women by giving loans to self help groups at zero per cent interest rate. Mee Seva, providing 100 utility services was a massive hit with the people across the State. The SC/ST Sub plan was another feather in his cap.
Politically, he made a lot of enemies with a majority of his senior cabinet colleagues particularly PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana and others differing on key issues. His style of functioning and reluctance to share information with his close confidantes also distanced him from the party men to some extent. Once he took pro-united AP stand, the Telangana Congress leaders boycotted him.
His resignation on Wednesday also marks severing his family’s five-decade long association with the Congress as leaders eagerly await his next move.