Hyderabad: 2011 was a hectic year for Kiran Kumar Reddy as the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister was caught up with political firefighting to deal with the Telangana issue, the rebellion triggered in the Congress by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and the hostilities fomented by some of his colleagues.

Jagan, who launched his YSR Congress in April, however, no longer poses a threat to the government, as he was cut to size more by the CBI rather than the Congress as such.

When he walked out of the Congress towards the end of 2010, Jagan had at least 30 Congress MLAs, two each of TDP and PRP and five MPs on his side. By the end of 2011, the count fell to 18 MLAs and two MPs, excluding him and his mother Y S Vijaya.

Jagan's stock started dipping after the CBI and the ED launched investigations into the manner in which he amassed huge wealth by allegedly misusing the position of his late father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, who ruled the state from May 2004 to September 2009.

Nevertheless, Jagan managed to give a scare to Kiran Kumar early December when he made 16 Congress MLAs vote against the government on a no-confidence motion moved by the TDP. The Praja Rajyam Party and the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, with 17 and 7 members respectively, saved the day for Kumar.

Incidentally, the predictions made towards the end of 2010 came true with actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi merged his PRP with Congress and playing the saviour (of the government).

Of course, the state's political saga of 2011, much like in 2010, revolved predominantly around Telangana.

The 42-day general strike by different sections of society in August-September was the high point in the statehood drama but subsequently the plot was clearly lost. People were no longer inclined to patronise the protracted street show while those stage-managing the act were left clueless on their next moves.

Congress's political fortunes in the state as a whole, and Telangana region in particular, took a severe beating as it continued to drag its feet on the vexatious statehood issue.

While the Congress' fate is apparently doomed in Telangana, Jagan is ready to completely seal it in Andhra-Rayalaseema regions.

Amid all the political turmoil, Kiran Kumar made attempts to build his image through a slew of welfare schemes like rice supply at Re 1 a kilo, interest-free loans to farmers and self-help group women and lakhs of jobs to youth.

However, there was trouble lurking for him from his own colleagues as he failed to win their confidence.

The year 2011 wasn't too good for the principal Opposition Telugu Desam Party either. At least six MLAs from Telangana region quit the party this year, in addition to the one last year, blaming TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu of being ambivalent on the statehood demand.

Two MLAs from Andhra-Rayalaseema regions too have severed their links with the party to side with Jagan. The Telangana and Jagan factors that haunt the Congress, torment the TDP as well.

With by-elections due for seven Assembly seats (as of now), both the Congress' and the TDP's real strengths will be put to test, particularly in Telangana where the battle is for six seats.

Thanks to the so-called 'Telangana sentiment', separatist group Telangana Rashtra Samiti hopes to ride high though its credibility too eroded considerably after the general strike was brought to an abrupt end without achieving anything.

(Agencies)