Showdown Today as countdown begins for T Bill
By JR Prasad | Published: 18th November 2013 09:09 AM |
The national capital is all set to witness the final showdown between Congress leaders on either side of the divide as well as Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and his party high command on Monday when the Group of Ministers on Telangana will hold consultations for the last time.
It is expected to finalise its verdict on contentious issues such as status of Hyderabad, Bhadrachalam and package for Seemandhra, on November 20. Votaries of Samaikyandhra and Telangana have prepared competitive reports to present their respective arguments for one last time before the GoM. This will also be the final chance for Kiran, whose scheduled meeting with the GoM was deferred from November 14 to 18, to present his case before the panel.
The Congress high command, which has obtained reports on the political moves of Kiran’s camp, is expected to use the occasion as a final attempt to tame the Chief Minister. In the wake of Kiran’s aggressive stance and latest warnings that he is even ready to sacrifice his post for the sake of keeping the State united, the AICC leadership has prepared a ‘contingency plan’ and reportedly asked some of its staunch loyalists such as PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana, Ministers Kanna Lakshminarayana, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao to persuade party MLAs, likely to back Kiran if he resigns after the T Bill is referred to the Assembly, not to cross the party line.
The Congress high command has almost isolated Kiran by successfully persuading Union ministers from the region to drop their Samaikyandhra slogan. The latest comments of Kavuri Sambasiva Rao and D Purandeswari that they would focus on protecting Seemandhra’s rights as bifurcation is certain indicate the extent of its success.
However, the Chief Minister seems to be in no mood to relent if his rhetoric is anything to go by. His close aides such as minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal claimed he will leave no stone unturned to stall the T process. According to them, Kiran will reiterate his Samaikyandhra stand before the GoM. Party leaders are keen to watch the next move of their high command to contain Kiran.
On the other hand, Monday could be the last day for Congress lawmakers from both regions to exert pressure on the party leadership to extract their pound of flesh from the Centre on contentious issues.
Telangana Congress leaders, who met at the residence of Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy in Delhi on Sunday, prepared a note on the 11 terms of reference of the GoM, to be submitted to it on Monday. They have resolved to oppose any concessions on the status of Hyderabad and tell the GoM that Bhadrachalam division must not be detached from the proposed T-state.
Soon after their meeting, Jaipal Reddy said, “Today is the last date for us or others to prepare our arguments. Later, the ball will be in government’s court. Hence, today we have prepared a report to submit to the GoM on Monday.”
Meanwhile, Union Ministers from Seemandhra, who dropped the Samaikyandhra slogan, have resolved to plead with the GoM to make Hyderabad a Union Territory. They have also decided to seek a financial package for Seemandhra apart from demanding merging of Bhadrachalam with the region.