Is the Congress really cooking up something on Telangana statehood? Expectations of a grand denouement to the long-drawn Telangana saga are beginning to wane.
Sources in Delhi and Hyderabad say that the “impatient” response of AICC emissary Vayalar Ravi to questions on Telangana on Tuesday are an indicator that the party has not firmed up its position on the issue.
And in a new development that may not be music to the ears of statehood supporters, even Rahul Gandhi, apart from several other Congress leaders, is said to be averse to any decision at this juncture.
Pointers to this inference were available when TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao emerged from a meeting with Ravi Tuesday with a face that did not hide his disappointment. Rahul’s view, it is believed, was conveyed to the TRS leader through Ravi by Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad.
A Telangana delegation received similar feedback when they presented a memorandum to Rahul Gandhi three weeks ago. “Rahul’s aides told us that while he is in principle not against division of the state, he is not in favour of doing it right now,” a member of the delegation told this newspaper.
Another senior Telangana leader, a pillar of the agitation, also confided that there appeared to be movement towards a new state till recently. But it seems to have hit a roadblock for reasons unknown.
Chandrasekhar Rao has reportedly told Delhi that he is willing to merge the TRS with the Congress if the Centre came out with at least a statement in favour of division while not declaring a time-frame for it. But Congress leaders are said to be wary of doing such a thing. “Once in-principle acceptance of division is announced, Telangana supporters are bound to put pressure for early completion of the exercise and definitely before the 2014 elections,” a source familiar with Delhi’s thinking said.
An MP, who recently met a Union minister holding an important portfolio, was somewhat shocked by the response he got: “In any case, we have more or less lost hopes of a Congress revival in Andhra. In such a scenario, why take a decision on Telangana and buy further trouble not only within the state but elsewhere in the country?”
In fact, TJAC chairman M Kodandaram told Express Wednesday he has no faith that the Congress will deliver a Telangana state (see interview, page 5).
In case KCR has to return empty-handed after having raised huge expectations, the TRS is reportedly planning to get into agitation mode as a face-saving exercise. Public meetings and rallies are being planned across Telangana as a part of this plan.