Kiran Reddy floats party, to fight LS polls
Former Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Monday announced his new party — Jai Samaikya Andhra Party. Reddy, who resigned from the CM’s post and the Congress on February 20 in protest against bifurcation of the state, will be the party president while former TDP MP C Srihari Rao, who registered the party, will be the founder-president.
Holding up a small stone, which he claimed was a piece of the Berlin wall, Reddy said, “If the Berlin wall that divided the two countries could fall, Andhra Pradesh can be united again.’’ He said people of Seemandhra and Telangana would unite for a single state.
“Our party will work to uphold the dignity and pride of Telugu people which has been trampled upon by the Centre in the process to divide the state,’’ he said. “Self-respect for Telugu people is the motto of our party. Although the party was scheduled to be launched on March 12, I am doing it today as it is an auspicious day,’’ he said.
However, it appears that the speculation that followed TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu’s invitation to Reddy to join his party hastened the announcement.
The East Godavari district collector denied permission to Reddy to hold a public meeting at the Government Arts College in Rajahmundry to announce the new party in view of the model code of conduct. The meeting has now been shifted to a private venue.
Announcing the office-bearers, Reddy said expelled Congress MPs A Sai Prathap, G V Harsha Kumar, Vundavalli Arun Kumar, Sabbam Hari, and his former Cabinet colleagues S Sailajanath and Pithani Satyanarayana would be vice-presidents. Another expelled MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao may also join Reddy’s party soon.
Sources said efforts were on to woo expelled Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal who had vowed to quit politics if the state was divided. “We are trying to convince him. Even if he stays out of politics, he will be backing us,’’ said Reddy.
A decision on whether to contest the local body elections in March-April will be taken at the March 12 meeting in Rajamundry, and the strategy on the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections will also be discussed. Besides contesting in all the Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in Seemandhra, the party may also contest in constituencies in and around Hyderabad where a large number of Seemandhra residents live.