HYDERABAD: Nothing seems to be going right for Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy. A respite from one problem is invariably offset by yet another far more troublesome hitch. The latest salvo arrived on the morning of March 12 from no less an authority than the Supreme Court.
The “breaking news”—a heartening one for his bete noire YS Jagan Mohan Reddy—was a directive from the court that notices be issued to six of his ministers on a petition seeking investigation into their role in the issuance of 26 crucial GOs during the YS Rajasekhara Reddy regime. The plea was filed by a
The development came amid the budget session and offered an opportunity to the Opposition to go for Kiran’s jugular. Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrabbabu Naidu did not allow functioning of the House demanding that the “tainted” ministers be sacked.
The ministers doubt if the chief minister would come to their rescue in the court, notwithstanding his robust defence in the Assembly. In a private chit chat, sources said, Kiran had refrained from giving them any assurance. Moreover, rubbing salt into their wounds, he advised them to take legal opinion on the GOs issued by them. One minister lamented before the media, “Had Rajasekhara Reddy been alive, he would have taken charge of the situation!”
Then, there are eight IAS officers who too were slapped with notices. One IAS officer, Y Srilakshmi, is already in jail and another, BP Acharya, just got a bail while yet another officer LV Subrahmanyam has been made an accused in the EMAAR case. There is disquiet among the IAS fraternity and they are looking up to Kiran. But so far, no reassurance has come their way.
The court move also comes at a time when Kiran is figuring out how to put up a decent performance in the upcoming by-elections to six Assembly seats in Telangana and Kovur in Nellore district where the prospects of Congress are dim. However, the biggest electoral battle is still ahead. By-polls to 17 Assembly seats consequent upon the disqualification of 16 Congress MLAs and acceptance of resignation of one Praja Rajyam MLA, loyal to the YSR Congress chief. In this head-to-head with Jagan, Kiran’s rating in Delhi will be tested.
The outcome of the by-elections might impact the government and a Congress defeat could see a number of partymen flocking to the Jagan camp.
A battle within this battle is the expected bypoll in Tirupati which is currently represented by Chiranjeevi. If the star makes it to the Rajya Sabha, the onus will be on Kiran to retain the seat as it falls in his home district, Chittoor.