Kiran Kumar was the last chief minister of united Andhra before the state's bifurcation in 2014.

Former Andhra CM Kiran Kumarmeets Oommen Chandy signalling possible return to CongPTI / File photo
news Politics Monday, July 02, 2018 - 07:49

In a major development, former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy is all set to return to the Congress after he met with ex-Kerala CM Oommen Chandy, who was recently made in-charge of the party in in the state.

According to reports, Chandy met with Kiran at his Hyderabad residence on Sunday and spent close to an hour holding talks.

Kiran Kumar Reddy was the last chief minister of united Andhra Pradesh before the state was bifurcated in 2014.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Chandy said, "When I was the CM of Kerala, we contacted each other at a party-level as well as a government-level. So, he invited me for lunch and we discussed the prevailing political situation. We are friends, we are colleagues." 

"The Congress stand is clear and everybody knows it well. Those who left the party will come back to the party. This is a crucial time not only for the Congress, but also for the country. Congress President Rahul Gandhi is trying to unite all secular and democratic forces to fight against the present government. We welcome all the leaders and workers who left the party," he added. 

When repeatedly pressed to say if Kiran had returned to the Congress or not, Chandy said that it was the former's decision to make. 

However, Kiran Kumar refused to take any queries and said that he would speak when the time was right.

Earlier on Sunday, the former Andhra CM was also seen at the wedding of senior party leader and Rajya Sabha MP T Subbirami Reddy's grandson. Kiran was seen speaking to several leaders of the Congress at the event. 

Subbirami Reddy had visited Kiran Kumar at his residence last week and asked him to rejoin the party. This meeting had come after another leader, Palem Raju, also met Kiran Kumar. 

Background

Kiran Kumar Reddy decided to exile himself from politics, after the state was bifurcated against his will. As the Congress was determined to grant statehood to Telangana by carving it out of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, Kiran Kumar quit the party and launched his own party—Jai Samaikyandhra Party (JSP) in 2014; just months before the elections.

However, his decision to launch the party and contest the elections turned out to be a major debacle, as none of his party members could win a seat. 

After the failed attempt, the senior leader went into a self-imposed political exile.

The Congress was also decimated as it failed to win even a single Assembly seat in residual Andhra Pradesh.

Kiran Kumar hails from Chittoor, and his return to the party might strengthen their presence in the district.

Meanwhile, the Congress has said that it will not tie up with any party for the state assembly polls and general elections next year.

"The BJP and the TDP cheated the people of Andhra Pradesh on the issue of special status to the state. We have no intention to have alliance with any of the parties. Our alliance is only with the people of the state," Chandy told reporters last month.

 

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