Seemandhra Ministers and legislators on Saturday appeared divided over the bifurcation issue with several of them deciding to chart their own course instead of backing the plans of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to resign in the next couple of days.

Since the last three days, PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana, Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and senior Ministers such as N. Raghuveera Reddy, Kanna Lakshminarayana and at least half a dozen others have kept a safe distance from the Chief Minister’s Camp office where Mr. Reddy is holding a series of meetings to chalk out the future course of action.

There is a clear division into pro and anti-high command groups with Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy becoming the torch bearer for united AP protagonists in the party. Revenue Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy did not endorse the views of the Chief Minister in mulling to quit his post.

Severed ties

“At the present juncture, the idea of resignation will not serve any purpose,” he said, adding that the Chief Minister should take on board the TDP and the YSR Congress chiefs and go to Delhi to stall the bifurcation Bill.

By defying the high command and opposing the bifurcation bill tooth and nail, Mr. Kiran Reddy has almost severed his ties with the Central leadership. A number of Ministers and legislators, who are not hopeful of getting tickets from TDP and the YSR Congress, are eagerly waiting for the Chief Minister to launch his new party.

Notwithstanding the difference of opinion, the Chief Minister’s camp was working overtime towards the launch of the new party once the resignation issue takes shape. Guntur MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao said that a clear picture would emerge either on February 17 or 18 on the new party. Another MLA N. Sesha Reddy said the Chief Minister was serious about the new party.

But Rural Development Minister Dokka Manikya Varaprasada Rao said he did not think Mr. Kiran Reddy would launch a new party. His views were echoed by his colleague Kondru Murali Mohan.

For a major part of Saturday, Mr. Kiran Reddy was closeted with Rajahmundry MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar discussing about the Parliament proceedings from Monday and the strategy to be adopted by Seemandhra Union Ministers.