A day after Vayalar Ravi’s sarcastic remarks on Telangana, another high commando Ghulam Nabi Azad poured cold water on hopes of separate statehood for the region.
On a visit to Srinagar Wednesday, the Congress gen-sec trotted out his familiar reply when asked why there was a delay in taking a decision on the issue. “Telangana can be created only by consensus,” he said. Decoded, it means that division of Andhra Pradesh would be done only if the other two regions of the state are okay with it. Basically, back to square one.
Indicating that no decision can be expected in the near future, Azad also categorically stated that splitting AP is not going to be as easy as it was in the case of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh when the new states of Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh were carved out of them.
Azad’s averment means that the three weeks that TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao has spent in the national capital in an attempt to paint Delhi into a decisive corner have not yielded any result. Woken up by Azad’s statement, the TRS boss finally gave some attention to the Telangana March. Right through his Delhi sojourn, the Pink Panther had been elusive to the media, while building up expectations though leaks and suggestions. Having got no purchase from the high command, the Pink Panther reached for his mobile phone on Wednesday and shot off SMSes to reporters condemning the preventive arrests of Telangana marchers.
The Pink Panther may have made purring noises from far but it is still not clear if Chandrasekhar Rao will participate in the march. TRS leaders claimed that they have still not lost hope and it is possible that KCR will continue to camp in Delhi for some more days -- by which time the Telangana March would have passed over -- should there be more talks.
According to sources, the TRS leadership has been taken aback by the turn of events and is now in a dilemma on how to proceed further. This was because the TJAC has managed to build up momentum for the march despite the TRS being cold to it. “In the wake of Azad’s statement, if we don’t extend full-throated participation in the march, we will be seen as not being sincere to the cause. But even if we do so now at this late stage, we will be seen as being forced to fall in line, having relied on the Congress to bail us out so far,” said a TRS functionary.