Rise of an unlikely hero in Seemandhra - The New Indian Express

Rise of an unlikely hero in Seemandhra

Published: 15th Sep 2013 08:20:36 AM

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Friday had a number of visitors at his Begumpet camp office in Hyderabad. The occasion: He turned 53. For a chief minister accused of being unable to control the party and Cabinet, the party celebrations would otherwise have been a no-event, but considering the bifurcation politics in the state and his open opposition to Telangana, many see him as the future leader of the troubled Seemandhra.

His managers maintain that the chief minister wanted no fanfare but the milling crowd ensured enough of it. For Kiran, the day started with morning walk at the lawns of his camp office at about 6 am. Calls wishing him on his birthday began pouring in early, starting from the prime minister, Andhra and Tamil Nadu governors to his friends. That set the stage for the celebrations. Later, clad in a mahogany kurta and pajama, Kiran received ministers, mostly from Seemandhra region, who arrived at the camp office. They now see in him a leader who could become a hit in Seemandhra because of the Samaikyandhra stand he has taken. Kiran is the most hated man in Telangana, and he wants to use this hatred to generate love for him in Seemandhra.

The ground situation in Seemandhra is very hostile to the Congress. The agitation against bifurcation began on July 30 and it is still going on from strength to strength. No office is working and there are no buses or schools. Now even electricity employees are on strike and soon they might stop generation and supply of power too.

Kiran appears set on taking advantage of the unrest by emerging as a hero. But will this happen? According to an Andhra leader, people are not willing to buy the argument that Kiran would be able to confront the party high command on the issue of Telangana. “This is because he was always afraid of the party high command since beginning and even for small issues in administration like change of a portfolio of a minister, he used to consult the party high command lest it might get angry with him,” he said.

It is a known fact that this is the rise of an unlikely hero. When “Sakala Janula Samme”, which brought administration in Telangana to a standstill in 2011, was called off there was an opportunity for him to drive the final nail in the coffin by persuading the Centre to offer a substantial package to Telangana and close the issue for ever. But at that time Kiran felt Telangana was over and there was no need even for packages.

That he cannot take his cabinet colleague along with him is very well known. Ever since Kiran stepped into the shoes of his predecessor K Rosaiah in November in 2010, things began moving in different directions in the Congress—Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy left and formed his own party and remained a gadfly ever since. Telangana movement became much more severe and his colleagues began washing the dirty linen in public against him day in and day out.

A majority of MPs, ministers and even his deputy C Damodar Rajanarasimha had turned against him for his anti-Telangana stand and his authoritarian style of functioning.

-The Sunday Standard

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