Differences in Congress over Telangana

Serious differences seem to have cropped up among the Congress leaders from Telangana over the course of action to be followed to achieve their goal of statehood.

Hyderabad: Serious differences seem to have
cropped up among the Congress leaders from Telangana over the
course of action to be followed to achieve their goal of
statehood with most of the legislators from the region staying
away from a meeting convened to discuss the issue.

A meet convened here this evening by Telangana Congress
leaders, who quit their posts in support of their demand, to
chalk out their future strategy remained inconclusive with
most of the legislators not attending it.

Only three of the 12 ministers who had resigned over the
issue attended the meeting, besides eight MPs, nine MLAs and
six MLCs.

After the meeting, the leaders announced that they were
firm on their resignations and would not take them back.

A senior leader who took part in the meeting said they
have decided to constitute a "core committee" with nine
leaders to take their agitation programmes forward.
"We have also decided not to join hands with the Joint
Action Committee and instead go ahead with programmes on our
own. We will have another round of meeting on Monday to chalk
out future course of action," he said.

Another leader who attended the meeting said efforts by
pro-Telangana forces to revive the JAC did not materialise as
Congress and TDP remained disinclined to come together.

With apprehensions that the so-called JAC, with the
support of other separatist groups in the region, is planning
"militant struggles" to achieve its objective, the main
political parties are wary of associating themselves with it.
Moreover, Telangana Congress leaders have reportedly
received instructions from the high command not to join hands
with other parties on the issue and cause embarrassment to its
own governments -- both in the state and at the Centre.

Meanwhile, with their bus yatra in Telangana receiving
good response from locals, TDP leaders feel it would be wise
to take up programmes independently rather than rally behind
someone else, political analysts said.

TDP is seeking a revival of its fortunes in Telangana
region after its severe drubbing in the last year`s bypolls.
By taking up programmes independently, the party wants to
showcase its sincerity to the statehood cause and win back
goodwill of the people, they said.

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu is particular about any
programme taken up by his leaders should benefit the party and
help regain its strength in Telangana, which previously used
to be their citadel.

Accordingly, the Congress and TDP are going ahead with
their own agenda on the statehood issue and snubbed the JAC
convenor M Kodandaram when he sought to prevail upon them to
give up their independent programmes and walk together with
others, the analysts said.

"We can`t be dictated by anyone on what to do," AICC
secretary and MLC P Sudhakar Reddy said.

The JAC was constituted in early 2010 when the agitation
for a separate state had reached a high. Congress, TDP, TRS,
BJP and CPI came under its umbrella though differences cropped
up between them within days of its constitution.

In a short period, the JAC was reduced to a combination
of only TRS and BJP, though the latter practically played
little role. At one point, even the TRS announced it was
severing links with the JAC but backtracked subsequently.

With the statehood issue gaining heat once again,
following the en masse resignation of Telangana legislators,
efforts were initiated by the defunct JAC convenor to revive
the body.


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