Decision on resignation and floating a new party likely to be taken on Tuesday when the T-Bill comes up for debate in the Lok Sabha

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy is seriously testing the waters before launching his new political party in the next few days once the bifurcation process reaches its climax in the Parliament.

He has reportedly started eliciting views of his close aides before taking a final call on resignation and focus on the new party. While resignation is the top priority, according to Ministers and MLAs, who have had wide-ranging consultations with him in the last three days, the focus is to ensure collective resignations. Mr. Reddy has made it clear to his supporters that he was ready to put in his paper some time next week.

But, before doing that he is planning to hold a wide-ranging meeting with the Seemandhra Union Ministers, MPs and legislators on Sunday where he is expected to spell out his plan. Indications are that he is waiting for the developments in the wake of bifurcation Bill coming up for discussions in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday a day after the vote-on-account budget.

If everything goes as per plan, Mr. Reddy along with a number of State Ministers and MLAs is planning to meet the Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan on Tuesday.

During his interaction with party leaders, the overwhelming mood is to quit the Congress and launch a new party. A senior Minister maintained that a large number of them and MLAs had lost all hopes of Congress winning a few seats in Seemandhra region. They pointed out that the manner in which the bifurcation process was being handled, Congress was completely isolated in the region.

On Friday too, Mr. Reddy held discussion with his colleagues – Erasu Pratap Reddy, Pithani Satyanarayana, T. G. Venkatesh, Kasu Venkatakrishna Reddy and S. Sailajanath along with MPs Vundavalli Arun Kumar and Rayapati Sambasiva Rao. Later in the night, Seemandhra Union Ministers and the suspended MPs met him at the camp office.

Yet a section of the leadership is sceptical whether the new party would make impact once the bifurcation process is completed. “What will be our poll slogan when the division of State is completed? How are we going to convince the people and seek their votes,” a senior leader remarked.