Andhra Pradesh has been in uproar for months. The Telangana agitation has kept the state rocking with riots while the 'yatra' by the dissident Congress MLA Jaganmohan Reddy has received huge popular backing, even as he rails against the Government.
The Congress-ruled AP government has been operating in a state of near paralysis for the past few months and drastic solutions were called for.
The measures finally came on Wednesday. The ailing 77-year-old Chief Minister Konijeti Rosaiah resigned suddenly, declaring that he was doing so for health reasons and that no political motives should be seen in the act.
And he appointed no successor.
Instead the buck was passed to the AP Congress Legislature Party, who, after some deliberation, passed the buck smoothly (perhaps inevitably) to Sonia Gandhi, from whom the buck really has no escape.
Sonia chose Kiran Kumar Reddy, an old party war horse and the Speaker of the AP Legislature, to head the new government and he was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.
All of this frantic political shenanigans are seen as trying to achieve two ends - the replacement of Rosaian would act like a breaker switch, halting the surge of resentment against the Congress before the party 'short-circuited' and the announcement of a new deputy CM, a post that will be occupied specifically by someone from the Telangana region, would sooth ruffled feathers from that region.
Meanwhile the unsaid, under-the-table hope, which is yet to be proved or disproved, is that a new, younger and more popular leader will halt Jaganmohan Reddy's steady rise to mass leader in AP.
Only time will tell if all, or any, plans succeed.
Kiran Kumar Reddy is 16th chief minister of Andhra Pradesh | Jagan discusses strategy with loyalists as some drift away
Text: Vinayak Hegde
Images: PTI / AP