HYDERABAD: Even before the polling, former chief minister and Jai Samaikyandra Party (JSP) president Kiran Kumar Reddy seems to have conceded defeat by refusing to contest. In a surprise development on Saturday, the last day for filing of nominations in Seemandhra, Kiran sprang a surprise by asking his brother Kishore Kumar Reddy to file nomination as the JSP candidate from Pileru assembly constituency in Chittoor district.
Till Friday, Kiran’s poll managers were telling the media that he would file his nomination from Pileru, the constituency he currently represents. But on Saturday, upon reaching the returning officer’s chambers, it was Kishore who filed the nomination instead, after which Kiran said he will not be contesting at all. “I will campaign for the victory of my party’s candidates,” Kiran said.
Pileru, the constituency he nourished for the last five years, saw release of massive funds in the name of Pileru development board and special development fund. The former CM’s constituency alone received more than Rs.500 crore in the last five years. Even after spending so much money, Kiran is not sure about a victory from Pileru and sources close to him said the former minister is waiting to rejoin the Congress party after the polls.
Moreover, many of his close friends who supported him all through his fight against the Centre, have deserted him. On Saturday, former minister S Sailajanath filed his nomination from Singanamala on a Congress ticket and vowed to protect the party in Anantapur district. Vundavalli Arun Kumar, who was seen as an ideologue of the party, also chose not to contest in the election. A Sai Pratap, another MP who stood by Kiran when he launched the JSP, has now joined the Congress and is its candidate for the Rajampet LS seat.
With almost all seniors deserting him, Kiran banked heavily on Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, who finally said no to become the JSP candidate. Rajagopal’s indifferent attitude is said to have played a major role in Kiran’s decision not to contest.
Source input: TNN