Sitrep on each invitee party for the Telangana meet - The New Indian Express

Sitrep on each invitee party for the Telangana meet

Published: 20th December 2012 09:29 AM

Last Updated: 20th December 2012 09:29 AM

The all-party meeting on the Telangana issue scheduled for Dec. 28 has generated no excitement among political parties in Andhra Pradesh. A few parties have announced their delegates to the talkathon and left it at that.

With no palpable excitement, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s office called up political parties in the state on Wednesday to ask, in effect, ‘are you coming to my party?’

For one thing, Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) chairman Prof M Kodandaram is not. He pulled out after his comrades in arms in the non-political TJAC objected to him representing the TRS.

Surprisingly, the BJP has decided to send delegates to the meeting, breaking with its stance of very ostentatiously ignoring all such exercised in the recent past.

Here’s a sitrep on each invitee party to the gabfest.

Congress: Keep Talking

Most Telangana leaders within in the Congress expect little to come out of the all-party meeting because their party is not yet ready to spell out its stance. “I know what will happen in the meeting,” said one senior leader. “We’ll ask the TDP and YSR Congress to spell out their stance and they will ask us to spell out our stance. Thus the meeting will end.”

However, the passage in Parliament of a bill giving limited devolution to the Hyderabad-Karnataka region of Karnataka has stirred up questions withing Telangana Congress leaders. The question being asked among them is: Is that the drift of thinking of the Congress high command? If so, will it steer the all-party meeting towards a financial package for Telangana with a separate regional development council and the works?

Several Telangana Congress leaders think the Centre will assess each party’s possible response to such a proposal at the Dec. 28 meeting.

According to one leader, who is playing a key role in keeping the Telangana leaders of the Congress united, the Centre may announce a package for the region in the second week of January.

But former PCC chief K Kesava Rao told Express, “We will accept nothing short of separate statehood. The constitutional safeguards now being given to Hyderabad-Karnataka were given to Telangana by inserting a special Article 371 (D) and (E) way back in 1974. But those safeguards ended up as a failed experiment.”

TDP: Delaying Tactics

The TDP leadership believes that the all-party meeting is yet another delaying tactic by the Congress. “The Congress leadership wants to delay a decision on Telangana as much as possible,” said TDP Telangana Forum convener E Dayakar Rao. TDP leaders insist that though they have decided to send two reps to the talkathon, they will speak in definite terms: yes or no. So will it be yes or no? Not yet decided.

TDP leaders are expecting Sushil Kumar Shinde to saunter into the meeting on Dec. 28, say howdy and let the talking heads talk. Dayakar Rao says, “In all likelihood, the outcome of the all-party meeting will be another all-party meeting after a few months.”

TRS: Nothing Less than T

The TRS believes that any clarity on Telangana can come only if the Congress says yes or no to bifurcation of the state. According to former TRS MP B Vinod Kumar, the Congress has no intention of abandoning its fence-sitting posture on Dec. 28.

So, to corner the Congress, the TRS will keep up a ringing refrain: implement the Dec. 9, 2009 statement by P Chidambaram.

The TRS’s limited goal going into this all-party meeting is to expose yet again the game of ducks and drakes by the Congress, TDP and YSR Congress. The home minister will do his best to ensure that no decision is taken at the meeting, TRS leaders say.

BJP: Just a Muh Dikhawa

The BJP is sending delegates to the all-party meeting but it is not clear why. Senior leader Ch Vidyasagar Rao believes that the meeting has no serious purpose because it does not even have the cabinet’s approval. The meeting was called by Shinde in response to pressure from Telangana Congress MPs. “How can Sonia Gandhi or Nitin Gadkari attend a meeting called by the home minister,’’ he asked, and added that it would be a frivolous exercise.   

MIM: No Expectations

The MIM too expects no great outcome from the all-party meeting. “Similar meetings have been convened but did you see any result from them?’’ asked one leader. The party is yet to decide who it will send to the meeting. Boss Asaduddin Owaisi will be returning to Hyderabad on Dec. 22 after which a meeting of party leaders would be held to decide who will go. “It’s sure that one of the delegates will be Asaduddin himself but it’s not clear who will accompany him,’’ a source said. When such a meeting was held last year, Akbaruddin Owaisi went with his brother.

YSRC: Congress First

Leaders in the YSR Congress are of opinion that the meeting will be a farce and they won’t be required to clarity their stance on the issue.

One of the party’s two delegates is likely to be M V Mysoora Reddy. Another may be from Telangana, perhaps Konda Surekha.

To an Express query, Mysoora Reddy said the decision has not yet been taken.

He went on to reiterate the stance YSRC will take in the meeting: “The onus of announcing its stance first lies with the Congress. During the meeting, we will demand the viewpoint of the Congress first.”

CPM: Not Yet Decided

The CPM has not yet decided whether or not to send a delegation. It is likely to take the call on whether to spend precious money on buying two flight tickets to Delhi.

CPI: Nothing Expected

The CPI, which supports bifurcation, does not expect any miracle to happen at the all party meeting. To a question on what might be the outcome, state secretary K Narayana said: “Nothing.”

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