Sees Kiran's hand in diverting water meant for Punganur to Piler constituency
The rift between Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and his beta noire and former Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy reached a flash point in their native Chittoor district on Sunday with the latter setting out on a 50-km long ‘padayatra' in his Punganur constituency to expose what he called the ‘sabotage plan' of the Chief Minister.
The cause for the latest irritant in their skirmishes is the alleged hand of Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy in diverting to his Piler constituency water from the summer storage tank meant actually for the Punganur town to tackle its perennial drinking water scarcity.
Peddireddy, the Punganur legislator, was so much cut up with the alleged sabotaging act of the Chief Minister that he had reportedly said “nothing doing” when Revenue Minister A. Raghuveera Reddy, a close aide of Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy, made some last minute efforts on Saturday to persuade Peddireddy to call off his ‘padayatra', lest it should reflect badly on the party and the Chief Minister at this critical juncture.
Peddireddy was said to have told his followers that how could he be so ‘dumb' to take it lying when the Chief Minister is so ‘brazenly' interfering with a work in his constituency for which the then Chief Minister K. Rosaiah had already laid the foundation stone to provide water to the parched throats of the people of Punganur town.
With the last ditch efforts also failing to make Peddireddy to at least ‘postpone' his ‘padayatra' in the interest of the party, battle-lines are now drawn for a open confrontation between the two arch rivals.
Punganur MLA along with his followers, including some from the adjoining constituencies of Madanapalle, G.D. Nellore and Puthalpet, has on Sunday set out on ‘pada yatra' with a lot of far fare.
Interestingly, the MLAs of the three adjoining constituencies were the ones who along with Peddireddy himself had skipped the Chief Minister's reception last month when he visited the district for the first time after taking charge.
As Peddireddy led the rally through the rural roads in his segment, his followers carrying placards amid sloganeering followed him.
It is to be seen now as to how Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on his part will react if not retort the ‘padayatra'.