Delhi feels Telangana heat: Andhra CM meets Sonia, Azad, Shinde and Pranab
The Congress high command on Monday resumed its “consultation process” on the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, a week after flouting its self-imposed deadline on resolving the contentious Telangana statehood issue.
Following an emergency call from the high command, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy rushed to New Delhi in the morning along with Pradesh Congress Committee president Botsa Satyanarayana. The chief minister met party president Sonia Gandhi at her residence for 40 minutes, wherein she reportedly sought his views on the possible repercussions if Telangana state was granted. Sonia’s political advisor Ahmed Patel also reportedly took part in the meeting.
Interestingly, after the meeting with Kiran, Sonia Gandhi had called Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah for a closed door meeting. It is believed that she had sought a feedback from Rosaiah on the Telangana issues, as he was at the helm of affairs in Andhra Pradesh when the Centre had made an announcement on the Telangana state formation on December 9, 2009 that triggered a political uncertainty in the state. She is learnt to have asked Rosaiah’s suggestions as to what the best possible solution would be on the state bifurcation issue.
Also read: Congress likely to put off decision on Telangana issue
Earlier, Kiran had an hour-long discussion with AICC in-charge of Andhra affairs Ghulam Nabi Azad and presented a report on the party’s position vis-Ã -vis the Telangana issue. He also explained how the Congress party had fared extremely well in the first phase of elections to the primary agricultural cooperative societies in the state, including the Telangana region.
In the afternoon, the chief minister also had a meeting with union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, as part of the consultation process on Telangana. It may be mentioned that the high command had asked Shinde to hold final round of talks with the Chief Minister, the PCC president and senior leaders from Telangana, Andhra and Rayalaseema on the state bifurcation issue.
Interestingly, Kiran also had a 20-minute meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee. According to sources close to the chief minister, Kiran Reddy briefed the President about the growing tensions among the people due to uncertainty over Telangana issue.
Sources said the Congress high command wants to come up with a solution to the vexatious Telangana issue before the commencement of the budget session of Parliament. The resignations of seven Telangana MPs, which are presently pending with Sonia Gandhi, would be a major embarrassment to the Congress party during the budget session. The MPs have already declared that they would stall the Parliament proceedings if no decision is taken on the Telangana issue by then and their resignations are not accepted.
The Congress party is also under pressure from its UPA allies to resolve the Telangana issue at the earliest. Union agriculture minister and Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar and Rashtriya Lok Dal president Ajit Singh extended their support to the Telangana issue. They told Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh during the recent cabinet meeting that the sooner the Centre took a decision, the better for the Congress party and the nation.
Meanwhile, the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC), which is spearheading the movement for separate state, is planning to intensify the agitation by taking up a series of programmes during the budget session.
The TJAC announced that it would undertake a campaign all over the Telangana region from February 16 to 21, declaring the Congress party as a betrayer and calling upon the people to boycott the Congress MLAs and MPs.
The TJAC also called for complete blockade of Hyderabad-Bangalore national highway on February 24 and the Hyderabad-Vijayawada national highway on March 2. Both the blockades would be held for 24 hours with Telangana activists resorting to cooking and eating on the highways. Similarly, the TJAC activists would take out bus yatra from Shamshabad to Alampur on the Bangalore highway for two days – on February 11 and 12 and from Hayatnagar to Kodad on the Vijayawada highway on February 27 and 28.