Is it a farewell speech? Let us see!
Is It A Farewell Speech? Let Us See!, CM Kiran Kumar Reddy Speech In Rachabanda. Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy was not perturbed when a scribe...
Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy was not perturbed when a scribe commented, at the media gathering at his camp office on Monday on the eve of completing three eventful years at the helm, that his speech sounded like a “farewell speech.” He only smiled and said, “Let us see”.
Kiran Reddy reacted the same way when another journalist asked if he would opt for the office or the battle to keep the State united when he has to take the final decision saying that he would cross the bridge when it comes. To another question whether Kiran Reddy would be a chief minister or a former chief minister when the Telengana Bill comes before the Assembly, he again said, “Let us see.”
The young chief minister looked relaxed and focused throughout his informal chat with the journalists of both print and electronic media. Asked if he was still confident of keeping the State united he replied in the affirmative. Though he narrated number of achievements of his government, he accepted the fact that things are where they were when he took over the reins.
The movements in Telangana and Seemandhra did not allow his government to take the State forward. Kiran Reddy said he had been cautioning the party leadership about the pitfalls of bifurcation. When a senior journalist tried to pull his leg by asking him to disclose the secret of his continuation in the office despite his rebellion against the party leadership, Kiran Reddy jokingly said a leader went to Sonia Gandhi recently and asked her to allow him the same liberty (enjoyed by Kiran Reddy) of criticizing her while continuing as a Minister.
The name of the leader was left to our imagination. A sense of satisfaction that he is doing what is right for the people of his State is manifest in every word uttered by him. He may not, after all, succeed in his attempt. But he would not have the regret of not trying enough.
With not many friends and well-wishers in the team and with the Cricket Board of India (read Congress high command) totally biased against him, the alumnus of Hyderabad Public School, has had to depend entirely on his skills to survive at the pitch. He has been facing a lot of psychological pressure (Hindi commentators say: ‘manoo vaignyanik dabaav’) all these months, particularly since July this year.
When he came into bat two down after the fall of veteran Rosaiah’s wicket, Kiran Kumar Reddy appeared tentative like his predecessor, playing on the back foot all the balls in a month after month. But he slowly and steadily picked up the reins playing on front foot and got entrenched at the wicket playing freely in his usual style. He even hit a huge six when he got the SC, ST Sub-Plan Bill passed in a special session of the Assembly. There were many missed opportunities, though. Some of his teammates have fallen in line although the Board got more and more annoyed with every run he made. When he was having a free flow of runs, the Board announced its decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
The Board, in fact, wanted to declare the innings and call the batsman back to the pavilion. Kiran Reddy refused to oblige. It was then that the captain-cum-star batsman quipped: ‘The match is not over till the last ball is bowled.’ A stubborn politician who loves to play on the edges with his back to the wall, Kiran Reddy proved to be a hard nut to crack. He defied his benefactor Sonia Gandhi saying that he adores her but the interests of the Telugus are more important than the interests of his own party or the family that runs the party. He declared that he would go to any length to preserve the unity of the State.
Since July 30, when the Congress Working Committee resolved to create a separate State of Telangana, Kiran Reddy has been fighting to continue the match at least till the next general elections. In spite of repeated demands from the gallery and some of his teammates, he refused to budge. He famously declared that he would fight from within. He would continue to lead the team and fight against the Board in his attempt to get its decision changed. That is the man for you.
The match, of course, has been going on for more than a dozen years. Two general elections were over since the match had started and the third is looming large. The players have been changing sides and complaining loudly against each other making it difficult for the referees to conduct the match. Even the observers had to be changed. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Health Minister and Digvijay Singh got appointed as Board’s representatives twice.
Veerappa Moily and Vyalar Ravi were also standing in white coats for some time. But the most decisive turns in the fortunes of the match took place under the watch of Azad and Digvijay. The match seems to be endless with reports that the Telangana Bill is not likely to be introduced in Parliament in the winter session. The Seemandhra lobby is still hopeful to stall a result. There is, therefore, no way to know when the match would actually end.
That brings us to the last ball. The Ball, in fact, is the Bill. The moment the T Bill is passed by Parliament the last ball is deemed to have been bowled. Rumours that Kiran Reddy is about to quit the team to float a new team to be owned by him have been making rounds for more than six months.
The initiative to end the match is not in his hands. It is for the UPA government to decide which the last ball is and when to bowl it. The other teams trying for Samaikyandhra Trophy led by Chandrababu Naidu and YS Jaganmohan Reddy are eagerly waiting for Kiran’s team to flounder. Both the teams are on the periphery and not in a position to influence the outcome.
Kiran Reddy, who is celebrating his third anniversary of captaincy, is wondering when the last ball would be bowled. He appears to be determined to stay put in the middle till the last ball is bowed and the match is over. In the meanwhile, the spectators have been getting restive having lost interest in the game whose name is opportunistic politics.