Either at the behest of the Congress Central leadership or out of his own volition, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has begun efforts to ensure that a discussion takes place in the State Assembly on the AP Reorganisation Bill.
Simultaneously, at least for now, he is understood to have dropped the massive publicity campaign that was being planned to promote the cause of Samaikyandhra. According to sources, Kiran spoke to TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and requested him to cooperate in facilitating a discussion in the House on the Presidential Reference. He is also understood to have made efforts to get in touch with YSRC chief Jagan Reddy through the second line leaders of the party but it is not clear if he has succeeded.
The YSR Congress has been steadfastly opposing any discussion on the T bill on the ground that it amounts to accepting, in principle, division of the State. The Chief Minister seems to be of the view that even if the House has to convey to the President that the State should not be divided, it is important that a discussion takes place on the T bill without which it would be difficult to convey the mood of the House. Besides, if a discussion doesn’t take place, there is also the danger of the bill being returned to the President ahead of the January 23 deadline concluding that the House has no views to offer. This could completely jeopardise the interests of Seemandhra and those trying to emerge as heroes in the region run the risk of being seen as having failed to protect its interests.
A series of meetings that took place over the weekend indicated that Kiran is in no tearing hurry to float a new party which is being strongly pushed by some Congress MPs, prominent among them being Lagadapati Rajagopal. He seems to have conveyed his view to Rajagopal, who is going around with the theory that a new party is in the offing and Kiran would captain it. In the past few weeks, a team of people have been working on a massive publicity blitz, to be unleashed in newspapers, TV, radio and outdoor with the focus on the slogan of Samaikyandhra. But in the meetings over the weekend with the team involved in crafting this campaign, Kiran’s brother is understood to have suggested that the entire exercise be deferred.
The campaign was so massively planned that the initial estimate was in the range of `100-200 crore. It was subsequently pruned to `20 crore and finally to just about `5 crore. In a change of plans, the suggestion given was that any publicity highlighting the achievements of the government should have adequate focus on Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Rajagopal has also been told not to use Kiran’s images in his own campaign, if he launches one.
Reddy not yet ready for samaikya stir
A series of meetings over the weekend indicated Kiran is in no tearing hurry to float a new party which is being strongly pushed by some Congress MPs, prominent among them being Lagadapati Rajagopal. Kiran seems to have conveyed his view to Rajagopal, who is going around with the theory that a party captained by him is in the offing.