Cong toying with idea of having Dy CM from Telangana

Seeking to buy time, Congress high command appears to be toying with the idea of having a Deputy Chief Minister and PCC chief in Andhra Pradesh from Telangana region amid a growing clamour for a separate state.

Last Updated: Jan 13, 2011, 19:18 PM IST

New Delhi: Seeking to buy time, Congress
high command appears to be toying with the idea of having a
Deputy Chief Minister and PCC chief in Andhra Pradesh from
Telangana region amid a growing clamour for a separate state.
A day after 14 party MPs from Telangana region met
senior party leaders Pranab Mukherjee and AK Antony, state
party sources said that the top leadership was thinking on
these lines.

The contention is that since the Chief Minister is
from a non-Telangana region, a Deputy Chief Minister as well
as PCC chief from Telangana could have a soothing effect
on the agitation for a separate state. The current PCC chief D
Srinivas also hails from Telangana but his term has come to an
end.

With the Congress buffeted by Telangana issue and Y S
Jaganmohan Reddy`s rebellion, Mukherjee had in the meeting
asked the MPs to "co-operate", the sources said.
He assured them that their views will be conveyed to
party President Sonia Gandhi.

"Mukherjee also said that he understands our point of
view and the government is trying to sort out the issue," they
added.

However, the MPs remained firm on their demand. "There
is no question of going back. We are not going to rest with
anything other than the separate state of Telangana," a senior
MP from Telangana region said.

In the meeting, the party MPs have submitted a brief
memorandum to Mukherjee saying, "We assert in one voice that
there is no alternative to separate Telangana.... This is
the inalienable demand of the people of Telangana and we
resolve to stand by people."

The sources said that Mukherjee wanted to meet the MPs
individually but they insisted on coming together "so that no
confusion remained among us".

Emerging out of the meeting, Rajya Sabha member and
senior party leader from Telengana K Keshava Rao had said, "We
are absolutely hopeful. There is not even an iota of doubt."
He was asked if they were hopeful that their demand for
separate state would be accepted by the party leadership.

Another party MP P Hanumanta Rao had said, "We want
separate Telangana. It is a people`s movement."

The meeting had come a day after the former party MP Y
S Jaganmohan Reddy organised a one-day fast here, which was
attended by two dozen Congress MLAs including a few from
Telangana region.

Congress is so far maintaining a wait-and-watch
approach on the challenge thrown up by the Srikrishna
Committee report on Telangana, which has given various
options including keeping the state united as well as
formation of a separate Telangana.

The party is banking heavily on newly installed Chief
Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy to tackle the situation, giving
more than just a hint that it was an "acid test" and if he
could prove his leadership, it would be better for him and the
party.

PTI