A volley of meetings between Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and various members of the high command in New Delhi sparked speculations of the Telangana issue gathering steam once again ahead of the budget session.
Kiran Kumar did the Delhi rounds and met President Pranab Mukherjee, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi, AICC state affairs incharge Ghulam Nabi Azad and other functionaries Monday. Interestingly, Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah also met the President and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the same day. Though it was not clear as to the purpose of Rosaiah’s visit, it was speculated that the Centre might have sought his opinion on the T-issue from the former state chief minister.
During Kiran Kumar’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi in the presence of her political secretary Ahmed Patel at 10 Janpath, he reportedly explained the prevailing situation in the state and submitted a report about the Congress’ victory in the cooperative polls.
It is learnt that during the half-hour meeting, the chief minister clarified his opinion on the statehood issue. It is no secret that the Kiran Kumar would rather have the state remain united. But he reportedly pitched for a financial package and setting up of a regional development council for Telangana. He is also seeking national project status for Polavaram and Pranahita-Chevella. “The main purpose of the chief minister’s visit to Delhi was to inform the high command that the Congress has swept the cooperative polls in the state. Kiran Reddy has explained to the AICC top brass that the popularity of YSRC is on the wane,” a close aide of the CM told Express.
Soon after Kiran Reddy left Sonia, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde called on her. However, what transpired between the two leaders was not known.
Earlier, soon after reaching Delhi on Monday morning, Kiran Reddy drove straight to the residence of Ghulam Nabi Azad, where they held confabulations for over one-and-half hours on various issues. Azad is understood to have asked for a detailed report on the situation on both regions in the state especially as the Telangana Political Joint Action Committee (TJAC) has announced agitation programmes to block highways and organise a ‘Chalo Assembly’ this month.
Azad is also reported to have expressed displeasure over the manner with which the state government acted while arresting MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and detained former minister P Shanker Rao.
Kiran Reddy also met AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh and treasurer Motilal Vora. When scribes asked Singh about their discussions, he replied: “We just had tea, that’s all.”
Interestingly, even as these rounds of discussion went on, two ministers from the state - Ponnala Lakshmaiah and Kanna Lakshmi Narayana - were also camping in Delhi. As there have been speculation of the Centre going for a change of guard either at the government or the PCC level, the stay of these two ministers at the capital assumes significance.
Closer home in Hyderabad, PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana is also getting ready to visit Delhi soon to express his opinion on the issue. He was visited by Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal Monday. Soon after the meeting, Lagadapati, an hardcore integrationist, told the media that the Congress was not against the formation of Telangana.
However, he exuded confidence that the state would not be bifurcated as there was no consensus among people of the three regions.