With the Centre deciding to table T bill in Parliament on Feb 12, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is understood to be contemplating resignation the same day.
As the Cabinet has decided to table the same bill that was sent to the AP Legislature, the Chief Minister, who had announced that he would quit politics if the bill was introduced in Parliament in the same form, is reportedly mulling over putting in his papers in order to remain as the ‘last man’ who unsuccessfully fought to keep the State united. According to sources, Kiran’s defiance was disapproved of by the Congress core group, which met in Delhi on Friday. During the meeting, presided over by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi is understood to have taken exception to the ‘rebellious posture’ of Kiran, particularly his protest in Delhi.
Sources said Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, considered the mentor of Kiran, informed the Chief Minister of the AICC leadership’s view.
“Kiran Reddy has more or less decided to step down soon after the bill is tabled in Parliament. He doesn’t want to give a chance to the party leadership to ask him to quit,” one of his close aides said. Whether Kiran resigns on his own or his party leadership shows him the door, it would not be easy for the latter to pick his successor as it is not in a position to hold a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party to elect a new leader. Imposition of President’s rule seems the only viable option.
If the bill is pushed through both Houses of Parliament, the Centre, in any case, has to impose President’s rule to form two State governments in the two proposed States. However, not many in the State Congress believe Kiran is revolting against the party. Some suspect his “revolt” and the party’s displeasure are part of a game plan.