As the Congress struggles to arrest the flight of its leaders to TDP and the YSR Congress, former Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s announcement of a new party has only added to its increasing woes in Seemandhra.
A spate of defections in the last one month has forced senior leaders to undertake fire-fighting and stop further migrations but to no avail. The party’s apathy was evident on Friday when three MLAs – Kothapalli Subbarayudu (Narsapur), K. Nageswara Rao (Tanuku) and Suresh (Yerragondapalem) met YSR Congress chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy in Guntur district and expressed their wish to join his party.
Piling on more agony, another group of MLAs – G. Veerashiva Reddy, G. Kuthuhulamma, Korla Bharati and Pamula Rajeswari called on Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy here hinting at joining his party. Some of the expelled Congress MPs are at the forefront to make arrangements for the launch of the new party.
Mr. Kiran Reddy continued his parleys with his supporters. Former MP Srihari Rao, who had registered ‘Jai Samaikyandhra Party’, met him. Indications are that Mr. Kiran may settle for the name for his new party. Efforts are on to appoint in-charges for all the 25 parliamentary constituencies. Later in the night, he drove to the residence of former Union Minister Dasari Narayana Rao and urged him to extend his support for the new party.
Meanwhile, a senior PCC functionary admitted that the party was indeed facing its worst crisis in the State and said the coming general elections would be an acid test. “Civic body, local bodies and general elections in a span of two months is going to wreak havoc for us. Finding candidates with some stature is going to be a big task,” a leader from Seemandhra remarked.
He admitted that Kiran’s new party could eat into the Congress vote bank. “All the legislators, who have lost hope of getting entry into TDP and the YSR Congress will flock to Mr. Kiran’s party,” a former Minister, who did not muster the courage to join Mr. Kiran’s party, said.
Leaders point out that Mr. Reddy’s party may affect the prospects of the YSR Congress also. However, the YSRC leaders dismissed the claim. “Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy has facilitated smooth passage of the T-Bill and how can he go to the people?” a YSR Congress leader questioned.