Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy is increasingly under pressure from a section of his party MLAs from the Seemandhra region to launch a new party as they see bleak prospects for themselves after the CWC’s decision to divide the State.

These leaders see in him a ray of hope after his fresh diatribe against the Congress leadership at the function held here on Thursday to mark the Telugu Language Day. Party seniors like J.C. Diwakar Reddy have openly voiced their concern over the party’s floundering fortunes and emphasized that the best option before them was to float a new party.

Adding credence to the talk was the statement by Kamalapuram MLA G. Veerasiva Reddy in Kadapa district on Friday that a new party would be floated in Seemandhra if the decision on bifurcation was not withdrawn. His remark is in tune with similar to the one by Routhu Suryaprakash Rao, MLA from Rajahmundry City that party legislators were mulling the idea of floating the Samaikya Indira Congress Party.

A senior leader sees a pattern in the CM’s repeated opposition to the bifurcation move. When he had met the A.K. Antony Committee earlier this month, Mr. Reddy is said to have made a spirited argument against division of State. Thereafter, during an informal interaction with the Seemandhra leaders, he dropped hints that he would continue to oppose bifurcation till the concerns were addressed.

A close aide of the CM told The Hindu that Mr. Reddy was still hopeful that the Centre would not proceed with bifurcation. If this was not done, the Chief Minister may not oblige the Centre in tabling the resolution on division in the Assembly. “He looks prepared to sacrifice his post for the cause of united Andhra Pradesh,” the aide said.

Another section in the party maintains that the high command is even suspecting his loyalty to the central leadership. These leaders feel that Mr. Reddy’s plan was to emerge as a champion of their cause among the Samaikyandhra protestors.