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Are Congress MPs ready to cross the Rubicon?

Set a date for the party high command to come out with a clear stand on separate state

Gulf News


Taking their fight to the next stage, Congress MPs from Telangana region today set a December 9 deadline for the party high command to come out with a clear stand on a separate state.

In a rare demonstration, a group of Lok Sabha members from the region today met the party president Sonia Gandhi and submitted a note elucidating their views in support of Telangana state.

The MPs, who have been protesting over the Telangana issue since the opening of the winter session of Parliament, also demanded that the issue of Telangana be taken up for discussion in the current session.

In the note the MPs highlighted the problems and pressures they are facing in their respective constituencies and demanded that the centre solve the issue immediately.

Those who met Sonia Gandhi included Ponam Prabhakar, M. Jagannadham, Madhu Yashki, S. Rajaiah and G. Vivekanand. Before calling on Sonia Gandhi, the MPs held a meeting at Jagannadham’s residence in New Delhi. Later Jagannadham told the media that if no decision was announced by December 9, the MPs would take a decisive step.

The meeting and the deadline assume significance in the backdrop of reports that at least six of the 12 Congress members of Lok Sabha from Telangana region had made up their mind to quit the party after December 9. While four of them were reportedly toying with the idea of joining Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), two were in touch with the YSR Congress party.

They have chosen December 9 as the deadline as it is third anniversary of the announcement of then home minister P. Chidambaram that the central government was initiating the process of the formation of Telangana state.

Meanwhile Telangana Rashtra Samiti organised a massive show of strength in Suryapet town of Nalgonda district, marking the resumption of a fresh agitation in support of Telangana state.

The show of strength was being seen as TRS’ response to the twin padyatras (journey undertaken on foot by politicians to interact with segments of society) of N. Chandrababu Naidu of Telugu Desam party and Sharmila of YSR Congress. The route of both padyatras was through different districts of Telangana causing some anxiety among the supporters of Telangana state as both the parties have failed to elucidate their stand on a separate state.

TRS President K. Chandrashekhar Rao, in his speech at the rally, targeted both the TDP and the YSR Congress saying that the people of Telangana don’t want Rajanna Rajyam (YSR’s rule) or Chandranna’s Rajyam (Naidu’s rule). “They want only Telangana Rajyam,” he said.

He said both the parties and their leaders were stumbling blocks in the way of Telangana state.

Meanwhile Telangana Nagra Samiti president and independent MLA Nagam Janardhan Reddy today started his yatra from Mahbubnagar. During his journey he will visit all parts of the region to mobilise the people in favour of a separate state.

Similarly, Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad also started a students’ maha padyatra (big tour_ from five different places in Telangana region. After covering a distance of 1,500km, the padyatra will converge in Hyderabad on December 7. The ABVP, the students’ wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party is also in the forefront of the movement for a separate state.