Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday held talks with state cabinet ministers Kanna Lakshminarayana and Uttam Kumar Reddy, who come from Andhra and Telangana regions respectively.
With Chief Minister N. Kumar Reddy’s resignation, the Congress is in a dilemma to whether impose President’s rule in Andhra Pradesh or name his successor or wait for a few days to install two chief ministers in two states -- Telangana and successor state of Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Kanna’s name was doing rounds for last few months as possible successor to Mr. Kiran Reddy after the latter revolted against the leadership over its decision to split the state. The agriculture minister, who did not defy the leadership, held talks with some central leaders few weeks ago.
Mr. Uttam Kumar Reddy is also considered a loyal and non-controversial leader. Ms. Gandhi on Friday held talks with former state Congress chief D. Srinivas and Minister Geeta Reddy, both from Telangana.
The leadership is believed to be considering various options including appointment of two presidents of the party in the two states. It is also trying to take Telangana leaders into confidence for naming a leader from Seemandhra as chief minister for the undivided state.
As the overwhelming view in the party is against imposing President’s rule in the wake of ensuing simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state assembly, the leadership is toying with the idea of naming a leader from Seemandhra as Chief Minister till the elections.
Party sources said there was also possibility of the leadership waiting for the next few days for two new states to formally come into being. However, Mr. Kiran Reddy has already conveyed to the governor that he would not like to continue as caretaker Chief Minister for long.
The leadership is also discussing the pros and cons of appointing two chief ministers and two party chiefs. As the leaders from Telangana are demanding that the elections be held in two separate states, the central leadership may have to finally exercise this option, sources said.
Keywords: Andhra Pradesh bifurcation, post-Telangana situation, Congress, Sonia Gandhi, Seemandhra region, Kiran Kumar Reddy's resignation, Telangana bill, separate statehood, Kanna Lakshminarayana, Uttam Kumar Reddy