TRS sweep in Telangana brings fresh worries to Cong

The TRS sweep in the Assembly by-elections in the Telangana region have brought fresh worries to the Congress, which is already a divided lot on the issue of a separate state.

Last Updated: Jul 30, 2010, 21:33 PM IST

New Delhi: The TRS sweep in the Assembly
by-elections in the Telangana region have brought fresh
worries to the Congress, which is already a divided lot on the
issue of a separate state.

The election result and the trends have not come as a
surprise to the party, a section of which was against even
contesting the polls being held in a surcharged atmosphere.
The Chandrashekhar Rao-led party used the by-polls
virtually as a referendum on the issue of separate statehood
for Telangana at a time when the Centre has constituted the
Sri Krishna Commission to look into the matter.

"Now what remains to be seen is what happens on December
31 when the Sri Krishna Commission gives its report," remarked
a concerned Union Minister from the state.

The AICC is already grappling with the defiant attitude of
party MP Jaganmohan Reddy, son of late chief minister YSR
Reddy, who has been taking out yatras without the approval of
the central leadership of the party.
Commenting on the electoral verdict, a defensive Congress
merely said that it respected the verdict of the people.

"We respect the verdict of the people. Public perception
keeps changing," party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said.

He said victory and defeat was a part of politics and in
the last Assembly elections, the party had performed well from
the area.

Asked whether the mandate in the bye-elections was for the
creation of a separate state of Telangana at the earliest, he
said the stand of the party on the issue has not changed since
the last election and a Commission is already in place.

Andhra Pradesh is the key state for the Congress as the
strength it got from there helped the party to return to power
in 2004 and retain it in the Lok Sabha polls last year.

Of the 12 seats for which by-elections were held, the TRS
retained six and appeared to be heading for victory in five
other segments. The BJP won one seat.

The ruling Congress suffered a major setback as its state
president D Srinivas lost from Nizamabad Urban and party
nominees from other seats were also defeated by huge margins.

PTI