The war of the two Reddys
By Express News Service - HYDERABAD
Published: 02nd Dec 2012 08:48:16 AM
The Congress Reddys are at war in Andhra Pradesh. It’s a war brought on by an existential crisis in the party—triggered by the statehood demand in Telangana and the rising threat of Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.
The lead characters in the political streetfight that is being played out now are Kiran Kumar Reddy, the 50-year-old chief minister, and socialist-turned-Congressman S Jaipal Reddy, the 70-year-old Union Minister for Science & Technology, who prefers to label himself as a national leader but does all the same dabble in Andhra politics, depending on what suits him.
This duel, however, is part of an overall big fight for survival. If the Reddys of Telangana are attacking the chief minister to prepare the ground for walking out of the party if a Telangana state is not given, the Reddys of other regions are doing so to join the Jagan bandwagon if Congress prospects do not improve.
The only thing common about the two Reddys is that neither of them is a mass leader. Both have survived so far through backroom politics. Just as Jaipal Reddy tried to scuttle the anointment of Kiran as chief minister when the high commandos flew in to decide on a successor to K Rosaiah, Kiran has been losing no opportunity to show Jaipal his place in state politics. But over the past few months, nothing has gone right for Jaipal, both in the state and at the Centre, and the future looks uncertain. Elected to the Assembly four times and to the Lok Sabha five times, the Union minister is reportedly telling his aides that he might give up active politics if things don’t work out the way he likes.