Taking his fight to Delhi, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Tuesday ignored the invitation of his party’s central leadership to attend a meeting at the war room along with Union Ministers and the MPs from the State.
In a clear defiance of the high command, Mr. Reddy reportedly told a group of Seemandhra Ministers and MPs at a meeting in AP Bhavan that the purpose of his visit was to meet the President and present a memorandum opposing division.
“I have received a call to attend the meeting, but, my concern is to call on the President,” he told his colleagues from Seemandhra. He expressed confidence that the AP Reorganisation Bill would not be introduced in Parliament in its present form.
The meeting gave the finishing touches to the agitation programme on Wednesday. According to Government Whip R. Padmaraju, the Chief Minister and Seemandhra leaders would visit Raj Ghat at around 11.45 a.m. and proceed to Jantar Mantar. They would stage a silent protest for a couple of hours and reach Rashtrapati Bhavan at 6 p.m.
In a related development, more than 70 Congress leaders from Seemandhra left for New Delhi by a special flight from Begumpet airport.Meanwhile, in an interview to the NDTV, Mr. Kiran said the Bill was yet to be considered by the Union Cabinet that would in turn refer the Bill to President Pranab Mukherjee for his approval.
Responding to questions, he asserted that he was prepared not just for disciplinary action but also quitting active politics if the Bill was introduced in its present form. “It is not a question of my political career. The Bill pertains to the future of farmers, students and youth,” he said.