Seemandhra leader hints at forming new party

Kiran Kumar Reddy likely to resign on January 23

The last day of debate on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Draft Bill 2013 could as well become the last day for Congress MLAs from the Seemandhra region and Chief Minister Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, who swore that he would not remain in the post for failing to keep the state intact.

It is likely that Reddy will resign on January 23, paving the way for him and Seemandhra lawmakers to possibly launch a political party of their own.

The chief minister's close confidant and cabinet colleague Pithani Satyanarayana dropped enough hints at a press conference here that all the Seemandhra leaders, including the chief minister, would be ready to resign en masse soon after the deadline for debate on the Telangana Draft Bill 2013 ends on Thursday.

Pithani’s argument was that a new party is essential to reflect the sentiments of the leaders and people of the region. “Even though we do not want to float a new party on our own, if the public demands it, we will have to,” he observed.

He said Seemandhra lawmakers might have to resign by the end of the debate. “The chief minister will address the House opposing the bifurcation thrust upon him, and then he, along with all of us, will put in papers,” said the minister, giving credence to the reports that preparations are under way on a war-footing to launch a new party, whose anonymous posters have sprung up in  the Seemandhra region.

Pithani refused to disclose the name of the new party, as well as its symbol and the people behind it. The minister also denied admitting that the chief minister and Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal were behind the new party.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary P C Mohanty has written to the Union Home Ministry seeking extension of time for debate on the T-Bill, which will be forwarded to President Pranab Mukherjee.

The chief minister is of a view that extension by a month would help implement his plan to delay the debate and stall the bill. However, the Centre is also equally determined to end debate by Thursday night.

The Centre will then focus to expedite the bill and pass it in the Parliament session during the February session.

Concerned but not worried is Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, who opined that extension of time would not hamper Telangana's interests.

Rao told his party men not to panic as the Congress high command would keep its promise and give statehood to the region.

The Telangana Political Joint Action Committee flayed the idea of extension of time and termed it as ploy to delay clearing of the T-Bill in Parliament before election is announced.

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