Hyderabad: Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is yet to receive the last ball before he decides to quit. He gave this impression in the Assembly during an informal chat with the media on Thursday soon after the Centre tabled the Telangana Bill in the Lok Sabha.
‘The match is not yet over; the T issue is yet to reach its logical conclusion,’ he said. Asked if he was contemplating to quit, he said it was his last option; he would first hold consultations with the Seemandhra MPs and legislators. He claimed they were still capable of stalling the T State. ‘We have time till February 21, when Parliament would adjourn sine die; wait and see till then’.
Reacting to the Lok Sabha incidents, Kiran Reddy described them as ‘unfortunate’. He was opposed to introduction of the Bill amid chaos. ‘It is the most undemocratic act. It is not the way to introduce a Bill. There are certain rules and procedures. We should uphold democratic values’.
The Chief Minister observed that such tactics would result in distrust among people and even destabilize the system. The ‘ugly’ incidents took place because of mishandling by the party high command. He opposed the suspension of 17 MPs.
Referring to the lunch invitation to BJP leaders, he said it was unfortunate that the party, which branded BJP as ‘communal’, was seeking its support. The party never thought it fit to call its own members, who were protesting, and hold talks with them. All ‘shortcuts’ being used by the Centre were raising doubts among people. This attitude led to trooping of members, including Union ministers, into the well of the House.
Asked about MP Lagadapati Rajagopal using pepper spray, he said it was in self-defence, as he was being beaten. ‘I will not comment on what happened in the Lok Sabha. But, such unruly scenes must not take place in the august House,” he observed.
Taking pot shots at Manmohan Singh that his heart bled over the incidents, Kiran said, “the Prime Minister should understand that hearts of crores of Telugu people are bleeding because of the undemocratic acts of the Centre, which mishandled the State bifurcation at every stage”.
Kiran said his opposition to the party’s handling of the sensitive issue does not amount to going against it. ‘AICC president Sonia Gandhi continues to be my leader.” He was differing with the party only on the bifurcation issue. He denied playing a role in withdrawal of the party rebels in the Rajya Sabha polls, claiming ‘they withdrew on their own’.