This Article is From Feb 19, 2014

As Kiran Kumar Reddy resigns, Seemandhra's Congress leaders plan their next move

Kiran Kumar Reddy announces his resignation as Andhra Pradesh's Chief Minister

Hyderabad: Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned as the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister today and quit the Congress over the Centre's decision to bifurcate the state and create Telangana as India's 29th state.

In the political chequer board in Andhra Pradesh, the bifurcation debate has forced several realignments. Mr Reddy has not yet announced any political plans and has said he is not even sure if he is going to contest the next elections. But that is perhaps because he is playing his cards close to his chest.

If Mr Reddy had managed to stop the bifurcation Bill, he would have emerged the biggest hero in Seemandhra but if the bill is passed before the elections, there are question marks on the electoral plank Mr Reddy will go to the people on. That is perhaps why Seemandhra MPs and MLAs, even those who had been putting pressure on Mr Reddy to step out and launch his own party, don't seem to be with him in big numbers.

Mr Reddy says discussions on his future plans are still on and a decision will come soon. Even though his Seemandhra cabinet colleagues were with him when he resigned, the numbers added up to hardly eight ministers, 12 MLAs and five MLCs.

Most leaders are certainly looking to jump from the Congress, which in Seemandhra is seen as a sinking ship, either to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) or YSR Congress, depending on local equations and vacancy.

Union minister Purandeswari, along with her husband D Venkateswara Rao, has quit the Congress and could go either to the BJP or to her brother-in-law Chandrababu Naidu's TDP. Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal has announced he is taking political sanyas. This despite reports that suggested he is a political hero back home for his pepper-spray antics.

The Congress however is hoping the TRS will agree to merge and boost its electoral prospects in Telangana. TRS leader K. Chandrasekhara Rao said, "Let the Bill be passed. We will discuss about all that after that.''

The TDP has been a vertically divided house, with its Telangana and Seemandhra units taking contrary positions, and hopes to sail with their feet in both boats.