The two-day meeting of Congress Legislature Party leaders and PCC presidents, which concluded on Saturday, discussed the Telangana issue at length, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has said.
Talking with reporters in Delhi soon after the meeting, he said he had raised two major issues _ Telangana and shortage of natural gas for power plants _ at the meeting.
Interestingly, apart from Kiran Kumar Reddy and PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and West Bengal PCC president Pradeep Bhattacharya also requested AICC vice- president Rahul Gandhi to untangle the Telangana knot at the earliest for they feared that any further delay might rekindle the demand for statehood for Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Gorkhaland in West Bengal.
It is learnt that the Maharashtra and West Bengal leaders opposed the demand for division of their respective states but did not speak against formation of Telangana state.
“Apart from Rahul Gandhi, the chief minister of Maharashtra and the West Bengal PCC chief also expressed their views on Telangana. But I will not disclose what they spoke on the issue as all the deliberations are strictly confidential”.
On the charge that he was opposed to division of the state, the chief minister said, “Whether I am in favour of a Telangana state or against it is immaterial. We have asked our party vice-president to resolve the issue at the earliest. We will all abide by whatever the decision our leadership takes.”
On shortage of natural gas, Reddy said that he had sought Rahul’s intervention for enhanced supply of gas to Andhra Pradesh from D6 in the K-G Basin which would be cheaper than the price of gas from RLNG, to bail the state out of the power crisis. He said the two-day meeting focused mainly on strengthening the party from the booth level upwards. He said he had invited Rahul to visit the state.
Making light of Jagan impact on the electoral fortunes of the Congress, Kiran claimed that they had not discussed the matter at the meeting. The YSRCP would be handled the way other opposition parties would be, he said. Downplaying the defections from the Congress to the YSRCP, he said the desertions would not impact the age-old Congress.
“In 1977 as many as many as 70 MLAs had left the Congress. But our party bounced back and won 190 seats in the immediate polls. It will be repeated now. If some leaders leave the party, new leaders will emerge to replace them.”