HYDERABAD: The latest bypoll defeat appears to have come as yet another opportunity for chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s detractors.
They came from all quarters, and without wasting much time, went straight for Kiran’s jugular, holding him responsible for the party’s rout in the byelections.
The essence of what they all said was that Kiran Kumar Reddy was haughty and arrogant and he never bothered to consult either the MPs or the MLAs for drawing a poll strategy.
However, all of them have their own separate axes to grind.
The first salvo was fired by family welfare minister D L Ravindra Reddy, who has a running feud with the chief minister.
He sent his resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi, saying he owns moral responsibility for the party’s defeat as he was part of Kiran Kumar Reddy’s Cabinet.
Ravindra Reddy’s resignation is seen as his way of telling the party president that the entire state Cabinet should go.
Former minister Shankar Rao also continued his attack on Kiran.
He filed a PIL on Thursday alleging that Kiran was involved in ‘illegal’ disposal of `500 cr red sandalwood.
Deputy chief minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, who does not have a great a relationship with Kiran Kumar Reddy, made a caustic remark in the Assembly lobbies.
“Kovur was more important than Telangana.
Yet, the chief minister did not do anything to stop the march of Jagan Reddy.
PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana and Kiran Kumar Reddy should take the responsibility for the party’s dismal performance.
If they do not do that, the high command should step in or the performance of the party would be no different in the byelections to be held for 18 seats in the state,” he said.
Rajanarasimha, who has set his eyes on the chief minister’s post, always felt Kiran was standing in the way.
His main grouse is that the chief minister does not involve others in decision making and that he lives in a world of his own.
In Delhi, K Keshava Rao, who is seething inwardly as the party ignored him for a second term for Rajya Sabha, belched fire and brimstone at Kiran Kumar Reddy.
“In Nagarkurnool, we have a Congress MP.
Has the chief minister called him and discussed how to go about winning the Assembly seat?” he asked.
He said the chief minister thinks that no one knows better than him.
Keshava Rao said whenever the party ignored him, it paid a heavy price.
“In 2010, in my capacity as CWC member, I advised the party not to contest the byelections for 12 seats in Telangana.
But no one paid any attention and you know what has happened,” he said.
He took exception to Kiran likening the elections to a one-day match and saying that it was a collective responsibility.
“How could you say that when you have not involved anyone in the exercise?” Meanwhile, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s camp is watching the unfolding scenario with growing interest as this is precisely what it wanted to happen to the Congress.
The YSRC hopes to do an encore in the byelections for one Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly seats in the state.