The Telangana factor seems to have forced the state Congress leadership to postpone the much-publicised brainstorming session, scheduled for September 23, to a later date.
PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana, while speaking to mediapersons at Gandhi Bhavan here on Monday, said he would announce a fresh date after consulting senior leaders.
Interestingly, Botcha announced postponement soon after Telangana MPs Ponnam Prabhakar and G.Vivekanand had met him and asked him to hold separate sessions for leaders of the Telangana and Andhra-Rayalaseema regions. Referring to the demand, the PCC chief asserted that the party leadership would conduct only one session for leaders and cadre from all the regions.
“The proposed brainstorming session is a state-level convention. How can we hold it separately for leaders of Telangana and Seemandhra regions? As we don’t have separate PCCs for different regions, the high command will not accept this proposal. We will first conduct a state-level brainstorming session for all the leaders. Later, we will hold regional conventions as demanded by party leaders,” he explained.
Earlier, soon after celebrating the Hyderabad Liberation Day at Gandhi Bhavan along with former minister Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, the two MPs met the PCC chief and demanded that brainstorming sessions be held separately for Telangana and Seemandhra leaders.
Talking to reporters later, Ponnam said that as Congress leaders were split along regional lines, a combined convention would surely witness clashes between leaders of Telangana and Seemandhra regions and holding two separate sessions was advisable. Moreover, as the Congress was facing different situations in the two regions _ separate state issue in Telangana and Jagan’s growing influence in Andhra-Rayalaseema _ the subjects of focused debate would also differ. If the PCC leadership went ahead with its plan to hold a combined brainstorming session for leaders of all the regions, Telangana leaders would raise the separate state issue on that forum, he warned.
Ponnam alleged that the state government was giving step-motherly treatment to the Telangana region in all aspects. For instance, power was being supplied to Telangana villages only for one hour daily but for six hours to villages in the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, he alleged. Vivekanand said Telangana MPs would write a letter to AICC leader in charge of state party affairs Ghulam Nabi Azad soon placing before him their demand for separate conventions.