Following widespread condemnation of his remarks that the Telangana issue was not at all on the agenda of the UPA government, AICC spokesperson PC Chacko had to eat his words on Sunday.
The senior Congress leader did a U-turn and said the T-issue was very much on the national agenda of the UPA and also added that it was high on UPA’s priority.
He also made it clear that the Congress was aware of the sentiments of the Telangana people and a decision would be taken soon after the completion of the ongoing consultation process.
In a statement, released in Delhi on Sunday, Chacko said his comments on Telangana, made at a press conference in Delhi on Saturday, were misunderstood.
According to Chacko, he was listing various reforms introduced by the UPA in accordance with its manifesto and in reply to a question on Telangana, he had said that it was not part of the manifesto. Some dailies had gone on to report that Telangana was not on the agenda of the UPA, he said.
Though his remarks were recorded by TV cameras, the AICC spokesperson blamed the media for taking his comments out of context.
Chacko’s remarks have created an embarrassing situation for Congress in Telangana. Telangana Congress MPs, who have decided to stay put in Congress following a pep talk by AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi, are a worried lot once again.
Following Saturday’s remarks, MPs G Vivekananda, Manda Jagannadham and Siricilla Rajaiah held a meeting at the residence of Vivekananda here on Sunday to discuss the matter.
Emerging from the meeting, the three MPs said Chacko had insulted the people of Telangana with his remarks and demanded an unconditional apology from him. The trio set the fresh May 30 deadline for the Congress high command for issuing a statement in support of Telangana state.
“If our party doesn’t take any positive decision on the issue by May 30, then we will take our own decision, including quitting the party,” the MPs said.
However, the MPs exuded confidence that their party supremo Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi would form Telangana state before 2014 polls.
“We still believe that Sonia and Rahul are sympathetic to the Telangana cause. Hence, we hope that they will accord statehood for Telangana soon,” Jagannadham said.