Following the dismal performance of Congress party in the recent by-elections, party high command is likely to replace the Chief Minister after the Presidential elections, say reports. It is also learnt that Jaipal Reddy who has earlier refused to accept this responsibility, is likely to be forced to accept it now.
Congress leadership has already warned the Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy before the by-elections that he has to perform or perish. He was particularly directed to check the growth Jaganmohan Reddy. Kiran Kumar Reddy could not perform. Congress senior leader and union minister Vayilar Ravi who was sent as a party emissary to the state before the elections has given a confidential report to the party president Sonia Gandhi stressing on the need of a total rejig of the cabinet including replacement of the Chief Minister.
Now Congress leadership is seriously considering its options as per Ravi’s recommendations. It has come to conclusion on two basic issues. The next Chief Minister should be a Reddy, because Kiran Kumar Reddy has failed to contain the exodus of the politically powerful Reddy community to the YSR Congress. The second factor Congress is keen about is that the next Chief Minister should be from the Telangana region, acceptable to all the three regions.
Congress has little to choose from, when these two factors are considered. Jaipal Reddy is one leader who has been non-controversial and above group politics. He is also a respected leader. But because of his physical handicap, he has mobility problem. In the present condition, the new Chief Minister should be able to extensively tour the state. It would be difficult for Jaipal to take this strain.
The other names under Congress leadership’s scanner are that of Marri Sasidhar Reddy, son of the late Chief Minister and Tamilnadu governor Marri Chenna Reddy. The names of former PCC chief D Srinivas and senior minister Jana Reddy also appear to be under consideration.
Though the Congress leadership is not totally opposed to Kiran Kumar Reddy, it is considering replacement because it is of the opinion that a total revamp of the cabinet that has been the legacy of late Rajasekhara Reddy and giving the government a total new look would not be possible unless he was replaced.