Hyderabad: From a hesitant start as the Chief Minister to going through a turbulent year plagued with separate statehood agitations, internal political divisions and frequent mass resignations, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has finally touched the one-year milestone. Even as concerns rise of Congress’s declining popularity and strength, here’s the Chief Minister, in a freewheeling interview, talking about how Cong’s rule shall continue unabated in the state, how political challenges need to be dealt with patience and the journey to 2014 elections.
CM Kiran Kumar Reddy: I took over as Chief Minister amidst problems within the party and the issue of state division. Both were issues of sentimental value.. So we had to deal with it patiently. The public representatives had to voice the sentiments of their people. So it did take a lot of time to get the party together.
On Jagan: More than countering Jagan reddy, my task was to keep the party together. Jagan Mohan Reddy has been a protege of the Congress party.
The party has to take a decision (on his coming back into the party). He is no threat but in politics you have take every opponent seriously.
A lot of MLAs are attached to YSR. They are sentimental about him and that’s why they have acted the way they have. Most of them will come back to Congress.
On rebel MLAs: Congress is a party where a lot of freedom is given. There were issues on which a few of my colleagues expressed themselves which I would have liked them not to do so but the party is watching. When time for reshuffling comes, we will take everything under consideration.
On Telangana: There were lots of problems. Agitations. We had to sort it out systematically and with patience. This is a different type of agitation because of its sentimentality.
There is a lot of consultation being done by the central govt. I think they will take a decision as soon as they can. It is a very critical issue. Decision can’t be taken overnight. Aspirations if 2 diff regions are different. Won’t be an easy decision. The state is losing out.. Both in way of business and farm sector with no electricity! Though goi helped us with sourcing coal, there was quite a problem with dry spell and no electricity.
On visibility: we have bettered ongoing welfare programs and introduced several new ones too.
As a CM for Telangana: I’m not interfering with their sentiment on Telangnaa. Other genuine issues have been addressed. An advocate general has been appointed from Telangana region. 14F clause was removed. I am planning to tour Telangana districts as well.
On farmers’ suicides: Suicides are due to different reasons. We mustn’t glorify them. But we are trying to take care of the family. New schemes like interest upto a lakh will be paid by govt from the next rabbi crop.CNN-IBN