From being the hand-picked choice of Sonia Gandhi as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister to sitting on a dharna in Delhi against division of the state, Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy has turned from a Congress regional leader to a disgruntled rebel in his nearly 39-month tumultuous tenure.
He became the first Congress Chief Minister in the history of the grand old party to stage a sit-in in the heart of the national capital against the high command decision to carve out Telangana, embarrassing it in no small measure.
53-year-old Reddy might have earned the wrath of the Congress leadership for his strident stand against division of AP, but he has now positioned himself as a champion of ‘Samaikyandhra cause’ seeking to upstage the likes of charismatic and resourceful Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, who is also fighting for the same political space.
He was anointed as Chief Minister on November 25, 2010 after septuagenarian K Rosaiah, who held the fort for Congress for over an year following the death of towering Y S Rajasekhara Reddy in a chopper crash in September, 2009, resigned.
The selection of Reddy for the post of Chief Minister was surprising even to Congress insiders in 2010 as he had never been a minister and not known to be a mass leader.
Political analysts had predicted that the cricketer-turned- politician would not remain in office for more than a few months given the fluid political situation in Andhra Pradesh on account of the raging separate Telangana agitation and the Jagan factor.
Reddy’s government had faced a serious threat to its stability with Jaganmohan Reddy, the aggressive and charismatic son of late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, once declaring famously in Delhi that the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh was at his mercy.
The government, however, survived the no-trust motion on the floor of the House due to the merger of actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam with Congress and Jagan being jailed in an alleged corruption case.