The Congress, which had preferred merger of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) with it in the event of the advent of a T-State, seems to be entertaining second thoughts now.
Sources said the AICC wants to shape its T-decision in such a way as to neutralise the TRS in the region and claim credit, in toto.
To achieve the objective, the Congress high command has decided to involve the Telangana Political Joint Action Committee (TJAC), which has been spearheading the separatist movement, in its final discussions on the T-issue. A delegation, headed by TJAC chairman Prof M Kodandaram, is likely to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi soon. The initiative for this tete-e-tete has come from the Congress itself. “Engaging TJAC will give credibility and wider acceptance to our T-decision,” a senior Congress leader told Express.
According to sources, former PCC chief D Srinivas has been mediating between the AICC top brass and the
TJAC in this regard. It is learnt that Srinivas has held a series of meetings with TJAC leaders and called on Kodandaram a few times.
He reportedly conveyed to the professor the Congress high command’s rider that it should get the entire political credit for carving out a T-State. Sources said TJAC leaders told Srinivas they had no objection to support Congress once the State was divided. “Though ours is a political JAC, we have no political goals and don’t take sides. We will unequivocally support whichever party makes the long-cherished dream a reality,” a TJAC leader was quoted as saying by a Congress leader.
Following this assurance, Srinivas is learnt to have convinced Sonia Gandhi to hold talks with TJAC. Sources said Kodandaram had written a four-page letter seeking the Congress chief’s appointment at the behest of Srinivas. “The ongoing movement is not fuelled by hatred towards people from other regions. The struggle is for empowerment and self-governance,” Kodandaram said in his missive.
When contacted, Kodandaram admitted writing a letter to Sonia Gandhi. “Some state Congress leaders asked us to hold talks with their party high command to bolster the case for a separate State. We have sought an appointment with Sonia. We are awaiting her reply,” he disclosed.
TJAC leaders, including Kodandaram, are camping in Delhi to hold a round-table conference on the T-issue on Thursday.