Ex chief minister Kiran Kumar returns to Congress fold in Andhra

Hyderabad: In a development which can give a new life to the dormant Congress party in Andhra Pradesh, former chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy returned to the party fold after a hiatus of four years.

Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was the last chief minister of integrated Andhra Pradesh till 2014, had left the Congress in a huff over the bifurcation of the state and had formed his own party which failed to take off.

He rejoined the Congress party on Friday in New Delhi in the presence of the party president Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi welcomed him into the party by putting a party-colour bandanna around his shoulder. Top leaders of Andhra Pradesh Congress committee including the state party chief N Raghuveera Reddy were present on the occasion.

Reddy, who was in self-imposed retirement from active politics for the most part of last four years expressed confidence that the Congress will return to power at the Centre in the next elections and fulfil all the promises made to Andhra Pradesh at the time of bifurcation. “Only Congress can fulfil all the assurances the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had given to Andhra Pradesh in Parliament. Only Congress has the ability to give special category status to AP”, he told the media on the occasion.

He said Narendra Modi government and the state’s ruling and opposition parties had all failed in fulfilling the promises made to the state.

Describing his relations with Congress as unbreakable, Reddy said, “my family got recognition because of Congress party. My father and me were elected to the assembly four times each because of Congress and because of my close relations with Gandhi family I was made government Chief Whip, Speaker and the Chief Minister at a young age”, he said.

He promised that he will strive to bring back 40 odd leaders who had left Congress along with him and discharge any responsibility the party gave him.

As Andhra Pradesh rose in anger against Congress party following the Parliament’s nod to bifurcation of the state in early 2014, the party had witnessed an exodus from its ranks and many had joined the YSRCP and some even Telugu Desam and BJP. It is first time that a senior political leader was returning to the party fold in the state.

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