Three former AP Speakers and their varied paths to power

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on October 15, 2018 Published on October 15, 2018

Nadendla Manohar   -  Mohammed_Yousuf

KR Suresh Reddy   -  P_V_SIVAKUMAR

Kiran Kumar Reddy   -  K_RAMESH BABU

Kiran Kumar Reddy, Suresh Reddy and Nadendla Manohar chart new plans ahead of polls

Three politicians who rose to the chair of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, are now trying to chart new political courses in the divided Telugu States.

Significantly all the three — Kiran Kumar Reddy, KR Suresh Reddy and Nadendla Manohar — reached the coveted post rather early in their political careers, one after the other.

The urge to restructure their careers comes from the strong political lineage they inherited. Kiran Kumar (58) is the son of N Amarnath Reddy, who represented Pileru in Chittoor district (AP) and rose to become a Cabinet Minister during Chief Minister PV Narasimha Rao’s tenure (1971-73).

Kiran Kumar, a cricketer, entered politics after his father’s death. His ascent began with YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s surprise defeat of N Chandrababu Naidu in 2004. YSR made Kiran the Chief Whip. In May 2009, when YSR got a second term, Kiran was selected as the Speaker.

Demand for Telangana

The sudden death of YSR in a chopper crash in September 2009 led to many unexpected events in AP. Congress veteran K Rosaiah was chosen by the party high command to lead AP. The Telangana agitation gained momentum with K Chandrasekhar Rao’s indefinite fast. This led the then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram promising a separate Telangana in the Lok Sabha.

Circumstances pitchforked Kiran into the Chief Ministerial role in November 2010. He put up a stubborn fight for a united AP, defying his party’s central leadership and filing a case in the Supreme Court arguing against a State bifurcation.

Suresh Reddy (59), comes from a staunch family of Congress supporters. He won the election in 1989 and steadily climbed his way to the Speaker’s post in 2004-2009, during YSR’s first term.

In contrast, Nadendla Manohar had to get over the controversial image of his father Nadendla Bhaskara Rao, who dethroned former CM and TDP chief NT Rama Rao in 1984 for a month and lost. However, the Tenali constituency was nurtured by Bhaskara Rao and remained a Congress stronghold for long, enabling the rise of Manohar.

The 54-year-old Manohar became an MLA in 2004, retained the Tenali seat in 2009, and succeeded Kiran Kumar as the Speaker in 2011. His tenure was controversial, with the Telangana agitation reaching its peak.

Another common thread that binds the three politicians is that they are all alumni of the 140-year-old Nizam College in Hyderabad.

Surprise moves

The trio’s recent political moves have raised curiosity.

After going into hibernation since 2014, it’s ghar wapsi for Kiran Kumar, who has returned to the Congress. Suresh Reddy has surprised many with his sudden jump into the ruling TRS in September. With the Congress not keen on a role for him, Suresh seems to have been convinced by the TRS’ promise of a sizeable role.

Nadendla Manohar has shocked observers by joining film star Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party. The political stand of the party has been cause for much debate. Will Manohar lend it some stability?

Over the next six months, the courses taken by these leaders will show results.

Published on October 15, 2018
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