At a time when the Congress high command has begun the exercise of finding a solution to the Telangana issue, deputy chief minister Damodara Rajanarasimha and panchayat raj minister K Jana Reddy, who are said to be front-runners for the chief minister’s post in the event of state’s bifurcation, held a meeting on Thursday with the opponents of bifurcation in their party and sought their support in solving the issue.
Apart from Rajanarasimha, ministers K Jana Reddy, DL Ravindra Reddy and G Prasad Kumar, and former ministers JC Diwakar Reddy and Gade Venkata Reddy, and some other legislators from Telangana and Seemandhra regions met in the chambers of the deputy chief minister and held discussions for over an hour.
Though they held the meeting mainly to discuss the issue of power crisis, sources said the Telangana issue and the AICC leadership’s ongoing efforts to find a solution to it also came for discussion at the meeting.
Talking to reporters later, Jana Reddy said that he would try to hold more meetings with leaders of all the regions to work out unanimity of opinion on state’s bifurcation.
“At this juncture, formation of Telangana state is imminent. By taking a positive decision on the separate state issue, the Congress can solve its problems in the state apart from addressing the issue of change of guard,” he said and made it clear that except statehood no other solution was acceptable to the people of his region.
Admitting that Seemandhra ministers and leaders, who participated in the meeting, had opposed bifurcation, Jana Reddy said that though there was divergence of opinion on the issue, the ultimate solution could only be division of the state.
Citing Balkanization of the erstwhile USSR, he said: “Though several leaders of the erstwhile USSR had not accepted the very concept of disintegration of their country, the Soviet republic was divided into smaller states. If a country like the USSR could be divided, why not Andhra Pradesh? Despite the vehement opposition from Seemandhra leaders, a separate Telangana state will become a reality soon.”
Government chief whip Gandra Venkataramana Reddy said government whips hailing from Telangana would follow the example set by ministers and MLAs from the region, and write a letter to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi seeking an immediate announcement in favour of statehood to the region.
Seemandhra Congress MLAs’ Meet Tomorrow
Congress legislators from Seemandhra have decided to hold a meeting at the Nizam Club here on Saturday to chalk out a fresh action plan to mount pressure on the Congress high command to keep the state intact.
Primary education minister S.Sailajanath, who is also the convener of AP Congress Legislators’ Forum, is making arrangements for the meeting.
“We are confident that the Congress high command will not divide the state. However, as Telagnana leaders are trying to persuade our leadership to accord statehood to their region, we will adopt a fresh resolution urging the Centre not to divide the state. Later, we will visit Delhi and mount pressure on the high command,” a minister from Seemandhra said.