I am no astrologer, says Chief Minister on bifurcation of State; makes light of defections
Breaking his silence over speculation that he will soon launch a new political party, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy said he had only suggested to Congress leaders at a brain storming session that they could decide the future course of action after the Assembly session.
Recalling the context in which he had made these observations, Mr. Reddy said during his visit to East Godavari district some time ago, Ministers and Congress MLAs expressed concern over their political future after bifurcation. “I told them that after the debate on bifurcation Bill is over, we can have a two-day session to discus the strategy.”
‘Focus on debate’
He had advised his colleagues to focus on the debate before thinking about the future. He had spoken only about the brain storming session and “anything beyond that is your imagination,” he told journalists here on Saturday.
Mr. Reddy said it (launch of a party) was not a simple issue which could be discussed casually. “We have to consider the pros and cons as it concerns all of us.” Asked why he was going against the Congress high command, he said: “I tried to convince them against dividing the State. But they did not listen. So I am now going to the people.” He made light of the defections saying that more than 30 MLAs had left the party since the last three years.
The Chief Minister parried a question when asked if he believed that the State would be divided.
“I am not an astrologer to predict what is in store,” he said adding that he still believed that bifurcation would be disastrous for the two States.
Mr. Reddy reacted sharply when asked about charges of corruption in his office. He said: “Those levelling charges against me should either produce proof or point out illegality. Let them go to court, if they feel aggrieved?”
At one stage, he wondered why a hue and cry was being raised about drinking water scheme for Chittoor. “Why can’t we give water to Chittoor. When a sum of Rs. 38,000 crore can be earmarked for Pranahita-Chevella scheme, what is wrong in allocating Rs. 5,000 crore for a water scheme,” he asked.