Union minister Jaipal Reddy, who hails from Telangana, is splashing in State politics with the aim of wresting leadership from current CM Kiran Kumar Reddy.
If we read meaning into the high decibel protests against the petroleum minister S Jaipal Reddy for his gas allocation to Maharashtra, we see a haze of fear in the current dispensation of the State. It’s the fear of a midstream change of guard.
The Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy led the protests and dashed to New Delhi to meet the Prime Minister and get it corrected. But the chorus of protests was so strong against Reddy that one saw a design in the move. The protest took a political turn when the TRS came in support of the ‘Telangana leader” saying he did nothing wrong.
Reddy who was obliquely blamed by the present Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on the gas allocation issue, had reacted sharply to the statement of the CM. Utilising the occasion the union minister had said that he had done a lot for the State, and yet he was not claiming the credit owing to his position as central minister. He also participated in felicitation programme organised by Backward Class community leaders in his honour at Ravindra Bharathi.
Addressing the gathering after his felicitation, Jaipal Reddy had promised the BCs that he would work hard to ensure the setting up of separate ministry for BCs at the center and strive to include more number of castes in OBC list of the center. The public promise by the union minister indicates that he is prepared for a bigger role. Reddy did not stop here. Last week, he extended open support to the agitation launched by Dalit Christians in New Delhi demanding the union government to take steps to provide reservations to all Dalit Christians. This move of the minister had not only surprised many opposition party leaders but also shocked many of his own party leaders as he is part of the Union government. During an intimate chat with his friends and close associates, Reddy is reported to have given indication about the bigger role that he is going to play in State’s politics.
Jaipal accepted in party
In a significant development, Union minister Jaipal Reddy has found instant acceptance from the party leaders of three regions — Telangana, Andhra and Rayalaseema — in the State. Commenting on the reports of Jaipal Reddy becoming the CM, senior congress leader from Telangana region Vakulabaranam Krishna Mohan Rao said that anybody can become the chief minister in Congress if he has the blessings of our president Sonia Gandhi. “Kiran Kumar Reddy became CM as he had the blessings of Sonia Gandhi. In a similar manner anybody can become the CM if our president has the confidence in him,” he said.
Commenting on Jaipal Reddy’s candidature for CM’s post Rao said that the union minister can serve the public in a great manner. “Jaipal Reddy had championed the cause of weaker sections particularly Other Backward Caste community. His unflinching fight for implementation of historic Mandal commission recommendations brought him the name of Mandalite during VP Singh’s government. He fought for weaker sections rights despite being an I &PR Minister then,” Rao added.
APCC spokesperson N Tulasi Reddy described Jaipal Reddy as great statesman. “Jaipal Reddy does need any introduction. He won the best Parliamentarian long back. This award itself is a symbol of his capabilities as a leader,” he said. Party general secretary from Andhra region T Venkata Ratnam also expressed similar views and said nobody would oppose Jaipal Reddy’s candidature irrespective of strong regional feelings. “If the party high command decides to make him the CM, all party leaders should accept it irrespective of their personal and regional feelings,” she said.