The decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh has “zero” electoral prospects and will be a “death blow” to Congress, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on Sunday claimed, and said he was ready for “any sacrifice” including his resignation to halt the division.
“Electoral prospects is zero… It is going to be a death blow to Congress in Andhra Pradesh for a very long time. They (PM and Sonia) have not understood the problem which is hurting me. They have not understood why we are rebelling so much being loyal Congress persons for 20-25 years,” Reddy said in an interview, with an English news channel.
He was replying to a question on how serious a mistake Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi have done by proposing to divide the state, and how much damage it might lead to Congress’s electoral prospects.
“We have rejected the President’s reference in both the houses. It is unfortunate that the central leaders and others want to put it in Parliament. We are protesting to highlight the issue and we are asking and requesting them to respect it,” Reddy said.
Reddy also said he was prepared for any eventuality, including resignation for his fight to keep the state united.
“Resignation, power or chief ministership is not bigger to me than the will of the people. The will of the people is that they want to be united,” he said.
The party is bigger than any individual but people are bigger than the party and the sentiments of the people has to be respected, he said.
“Post does not bother me. I am not a permanent chief minister. I am the 16th chief minister here, there will be a 17th, a 18th or 20th chief minister. I don’t want my state to be divided. When I took up the fight for a united state, I prepared for everything and took it up. I know what I am doing. I know the will of the people. I am reflecting the will of the people to them,” he added. Reddy said that he has been a legislator for 20 years and whatever he is, it is because of Congress and its president Sonia Gandhi.
Asked whether he had revolted against the prime minister and the Congress president, he said that it “was not a defiance”. “It was done to highlight the issue that when a state has rejected the division, central government or parties should not take it up.” the chief minister said.
Reddy said that the protest has nothing to do with the party and it was a decision taken by the state government.
“It was a decision taken by the state government. We are requesting the Parliament and all other parties including mine to respect the decision of the Assembly,” he said.
Reddy claimed that there is no Bill in the country, especially reorganisation, which has been rejected by the state.
On asked if he was prepared to paralyse the Parliament to stall the Bill, he said that one has to understand why the state is being divided. He said that the division of AP should be for the welfare of people and both the areas should benefit.
“I am not a member of Parliament. The Parliament members in their own way will try to do to save the state. I am against anything which is Unparliamentary. Yes I am against paralysing the Parliament.
“But people of both the areas are going to be suffer tremendously in power, education…. why are you doing it? What is the advantage of dividing the state?” he said.
Asked about resignation and formation of a separate party, Reddy said that he was not alone and one of the options before him was resignation.
“We will discuss and take an appropriate step… I will take appropriate step when the time comes. Do not link state future with political party. My future is not important. What is important to me is the future of the people,” he said.
“There are 70-80 MLAs and MPs… All of us will discuss. One of the option is to resign. After that I would not like to speculate anything. I am grown up in Hyderabad and studied here. After 53 years you are saying we do not belong here. That is hurting us and the people,” he added.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.