Kiran Kumar Reddy joins BJP, slams Congress for not learning from mistakes

Stating that he had never imagined his exit from the Congress party, Kiran Kumar Reddy expressed his severe displeasure with the party high command

Kiran Kumar Reddy joins BJP, slams Congress for not learning from mistakes

NEW DELHI: Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, senior Congress leader and the last chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, on Friday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Union Minister Prahlad Joshi and BJP national leader Dr Laxman formally welcomed him into the party by giving him the party membership. Kiran Kumar Reddy has recently tendered his resignation to the Congress party.

Speaking on this occasion, Kiran Kumar Reddy came down heavily on the Congress party high command for its failure to learn from its mistakes in Andhra Pradesh. Stating that he had never imagined his exit from the Congress party, he expressed his severe displeasure with the party high command.

“Our family has been with the Congress since 1952. I never thought I would be leaving the party. The grand-old party is losing state after state due to the bad decisions of the party high command. It only craves for power while grossly failing to grasp the happenings at the ground level. Taking unilateral decisions without consulting anyone is one of its mistakes that the party does not even care to realise. The party has not learnt lessons from its mistakes even as it suffers from the lack of troubleshooters to bail it out from crises. All these factors prompted me to leave the party,” he commented.

Earlier, welcoming Kiran Kumar Reddy into the party fold, Prahlad Joshi paid a cricketing compliment to the former Chief Minister, who once was a professional cricketer before taking the political plunge. He said that the BJP’s batting in Andhra Pradesh would pick up with the induction of Kiran Kumar Reddy.

Kiran Kumar Reddy has been languishing in political oblivion post the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to carve out a separate Telangana state. He was a four-time MLA of the Congress party in the undivided state. He served as a government chief whip under the rule of late YS Rajasekhara Reddy before being elevated as the Speaker of the undivided Andhra Pradesh Assembly.

Post the untimely demise of YSR and amid upheavals within the Congress, he replaced Rosaiah as the last chief minister (2010-2014) of the state. Opposing the bifurcation of the state, he kept making tall claims till the last minute about preventing the reorganisation bill from getting passed in Parliament. He would always reassure the media and the Congress cadre that he would stall the process with a ‘last ball six’. After he fell flat on his face in the wake of the UPA government ensuring the passage of the AP Reorganisation Bill, he resigned from his chief-ministership in a huff.

After continuing as a caretaker chief minister for some time, Kiran Kumar Reddy also resigned from the Congress party to float his own ‘Jai Samaikhyandhra Party’ with the hope of cashing in on the strong sentiment against bifurcation in the residual Andhra Pradesh. But a humiliating defeat in the 2014 elections, where his party was wiped out without trace, only meant a few more years in hibernation for the senior leader. He eventually disbanded his fledgling outfit and returned to his parental party in 2018.

He has not been active in Andhra Pradesh in the last eight years and it remains to be seen how the BJP hopes to make the most of his presence in the state before the 2024 elections.

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