Hyderabad: The Centre is likely to take a final call on Friday on whether they should nominate another Chief Minister for Andhra Pradesh who would continue till the General Elections are over or whether to impose the President’s rule in the State.
According to highly placed sources, Governor E S L Narsimhan was busy throughout Thursday to assess the actual situation on whether any party including Congress was in a position to form the Government or not. They indicated that the Governor was of the opinion that no party was in a position to form the government. The report of the Governor will reach the Centre on Friday morning and will be placed before the Union Cabinet for a final decision on Friday.
Some Congress Ministers and leaders are said to have requested the Governor to convince the Centre against imposing the President’s rule. But they see little prospects of a Chief Minister being appointed by the Centre.
Even as the AICC leadership is weighing various options including imposition of President’s Rule, speculations have been rife in Delhi that the high command might ask Union Minister of State for Tourism K Chiranjeevi to take over as the next Chief Minister and lead the party to elections. This speculation gained further ground as Congress seniors from Seemandhra region, PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, Kanna Lakshminarayana and N Raghuveera Reddy met the Governor and discussed the political situation in the State and urged him not to recommend President’s Rule.
It may be mentioned here that Botcha had been to Delhi on Wednesday and suggested that the high command nominate a successor to Kiran. The argument these ministers put forth is that if a man from backward classes is made the successor, the Congress party can still regain the lost ground by the time the elections are held. East and West Godavari are considered to be very important districts which have significant number of Kapu votes. If the Congress gives up at this stage, the Kapu votes may get divided between the YSRCP and the TDP. Many Congress leaders from that part are already in consultation with these two parties.
In the backdrop of this situation, sources said, the high command is weighing the possibility of having Chiranjeevi at the helm of affairs so that the Kapu votes can be retained.
The high command is said to have put the responsibility of mobilising support for this move on leaders like Botcha. This move, they feel, may also help in better polarisation of Kapus and BCs which can put a check to the Reddy and Kamma hegemony in the residuary state. After Jagan launched his own party and Kiran quit, the Reddy community distanced itself from the Congress. The Congress party has 89 MLAs in Seemandhra region and more than half of them are likely to quit the party and join either TDP or the YSRCP. Hence the high command wants to assess if sending Chiranjeevi as Chief Minister can help the party in restricting the damage.