FORMER chief minister Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, who claimed he would force roll-back of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and uphold Telugu pride, has decided not to contest elections on May 7, scheduled to be held in Coastal and Rayalaseema districts. He apparently developed cold feet after ground reports suggested that none of the candidates fielded by the Jai Samaikyandhra Party (JSP) that he had launched, would win.
Kiran Reddy, a four-time MLA, was expected to file his nomination from Pileru in Chittor district, from where he was elected in 2009, on Saturday, the last date for filing nominations. As a face-saver, Kiran Reddy has fielded his brother Kishore Reddy, a businessman, from Pileru. Kishore Reddy released a statement saying that since his elder brother would be campaigning for JSP candidates, he decided not to contest.
There were indications that things were not going well in JSP, which Kiran Reddy launched after resigning as CM to protest the passage of the Telangana Bill in Parliament when his main backer and financier, former Congress Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, stopped attending his public meetings.
“Kiran Reddy was banking of support of Congress MPs who resigned after division of state in protest. He thought they would join his party. Most of them are with the Congress and have been renominated.
He was left with the likes of Lagadapati Rajagopal who used pepper spray in Parliament and even he realised that the platform on which JSP was launched — united AP — does not mean anything now because people and political leaders have accepted the inevitable. In this scenario Kiran Reddy has no standing,” said D Manikyavara Prasad, former Cabinet colleague of Kiran Reddy.