Hyderabad: Kiran Kumar Reddy will be the new Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh after incumbent K Rosaiah resigned on Wednesday in a surprise move as the ruling Congress battles dissidence and prepares to tackle the potentially volatile issue of a separate Telangana state.
Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, a four-time MLA and YSR loyalist, is the son of late Congress leader Amarnath Reddy, who was considered the political guru of TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu.
On a day of fast-paced developments, 77-year-old Rosaiah, the stop-gap Chief Minister who took over in the aftermath of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s death in September last year, resigned citing personal reasons.
Hours later, the Congress Legislature Party met and authorised party chief Sonia Gandhi, who named Kiran Reddy, currently Speaker of the Assembly, to succeed Rosaiah.
“I thank Sonia Gandhi for giving me the opportunity,” Reddy said, adding that he will try his best to implement late Andhra CM Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s policy in the state.
50-year-old Reddy hails from Rayalaseema region and was elected from Pileru constituency in Chittoor district.
Reddy is from the Rayalseema region of Andhra Pradesh. Senior Congress minister Veerappa Moily has said the Deputy Chief Minister will be from Telangana region. Geetha Reddy is the front-runner for the Deputy CM post.
After a brief meeting of the CLP, which authorised Gandhi to choose the new Chief Minister, top Congress emissaries Pranab Mukherjee, A K Antony, Veerappa Moily and Ghulam Nabi Azad met and discussed the issue with the Congress President.
“Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi has selected Kiran Kumar Reddy as the new leader of the Congress Legislature Party. He will be sworn-in tomorrow by the Governor as the new Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh,”
Mukherjee said in a brief statement.
Out of the 156 Congress MLAs, over 140 MLAs attended today’s meeting and they unanimously passed a resolution authorising Sonia Gandhi.
At the meeting, a woman MLA Konda Sureka, a supporter of belligerent Congress MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, got up to raise the leadership issue but was persuaded not to do so.
Rosaiah has been surviving from one crisis to another triggered by rebellious campaign launched by Reddy’s son Jaganmohan and the Telangana issue which had put the state on the boil last year-end.
“I have decided to step down from the Chief Minister’s post purely due to personal reasons. There are no political reasons. I am telling you this from my heart,” Rosaiah told reporters minutes before he tendered his resignation to Governor E S L Narasimhan.
The resignation came in the midst of attacks on Sonia Gandhi and the Congress by media outlets owned by Jaganmohan.
But the move is seen as Congress’ political management ahead of the submission of the report by December 31 on the sensitive separate statehood issue by the Justice B N Srikrishna panel.