Sorry ma'am: Telangana MPs bow to UPA chairperson
By J R Prasad | ENS | Published: 07th December 2012 09:05 AM |
A day after they succeeded in persuading the Centre to convene an all-party meet on the Telangana issue, seven Congress MPs had a lengthy audience with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The MPs, who had protesting for Telangana since the start of the winter session of Parliament, reportedly expressed their regret for their belligerent attitude.
“Sorry Madam. We have caused a lot of pain and embarrassment to you with our aggressive attitude during the session. In fact, we never wanted to defy your orders. But we acted like that only to bring to your notice how serious the Telangana issue is. As many as 800 youngsters of the region have laid down their lives for the sake of separate statehood. We only wanted to convey this to you with our protests,” the MPs are understood to have said.
According to sources, Sonia gave a sympathetic ear to them and, with a smile, said: “I too was never angry with any of you. I can understand your point. Our party is sympathetic towards Telangana and we are examining the issue.”
The MPs - Ponnam Prabhakar, Manda Jaganadham, G Vivek, Gutta Sukhender Reddy, Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy, Siricilla Rajaiah and Madhu Yashki Goud - met Gandhi at 10 Janpath in Delhi. Congress general secretary for AP Ghulam Nabi Azad and Sonia’s political secretary Ahmed Patel were present at the contrition session.
During the 45-minute meeting, the MPs requested Sonia Gandhi to take a decision in favour of separate statehood and not to compare the issue to other such demands in the country. They said the party could not go back on the promise as it had included it in its manifesto for the 2004 and 2009 polls as well as the UPA’s Common Minimum Programme. They also said that after the Dec 9, 2009 announcement by then home minister P Chidambaram, the Telangana sentiment has grown and the TDP and the YSR Congress were trying to take advantage of the Congress’ indecision.
The MPs also made it clear that no political or financial package for Telangana would satisfy them and anything short of statehood would only compound the problems of the Congress. “With the emergence of the YSRC in Andhra, voters are polarised on a caste basis. There is a Kamma and Reddy conflict and with this, our party could gain the support of BCs, SCs and STs. Whereas in Telangana, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, all sections of people are demanding statehood. If our party wants to gain lost ground, the only solution is T-state,” the MPs said.