Says new party will uphold prestige and dignity of Telugus

Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Thursday announced the launch of a new party to uphold the “prestige and dignity” of Telugu-speaking people, hours after he moved the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s decision to create Telangana by bifurcating the State.

The party’s name, ideology, constitution, flag and other details will be announced at a public meeting in Rajahmundry on March 12.

“With an intention not to allow people to utilise the ‘none of the above’ (NOTA) option in the coming elections, we are launching a new party to provide them with a platform to protect Telugu pride and safeguard their interests,” Mr. Kiran Reddy said, ending weeks of speculation about his political future.

Expelled Congress MPs Lagadapati Rajagopal, Sabbam Hari, G.V. Harsha Kumar and A. Sai Pratap, along with former minister Pithani Satyanarayana, MLC Reddapa Reddy and some other leaders, were present when Mr. Kiran Reddy launched the party.

On the absence of other regulars, Mr. Kiran Reddy said another expelled MP, Vundavalli Arun Kumar, could not make it as he was indisposed, while senior leader Rayapati Sambasiva Rao was held up.

He said the party would resonate the heartbeat of the Telugu people, who had been “insulted by the indiscriminate, autocratic and undemocratic approach adopted in the bifurcation of the State.”

Earlier in the day in New Delhi, Mr. Kiran Reddy moved the Supreme Court for a direction to declare the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, as unconstitutional as it “violated the basic structure of the Constitution, having been enacted without following the due procedure of law.”

A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N.V. Ramana posted the writ petition for hearing on Friday on a mention from counsel A.D.N. Rao seeking urgent listing.

Mr. Kiran Reddy, along with two former Ministers in his cabinet, Pithani Satyanarayana and Sake Sailajanath, said the law which got Presidential assent on March 1 violated various Articles of the Constitution.

They said “the bifurcation of the State of Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and Seemandhra is in breach of federalism, one of the basic features of the Constitution as held in the Keshavananda and S.R. Bommai judgments. The bifurcation of the State is politically motivated.”