Following a terse warning issued by their party high command to them to fall in line, Congress leaders from Seemandhra seem to have started giving up their fight for a united Andhra Pradesh, realising that their party had reached a point of no return on the Telangana issue.
This was even more evident when Union textiles minister Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, a staunch integrationist, categorically stated after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that all Seemandhra leaders of the party would abide the party decision on the Telangana issue.
The Congress veteran, who has been going soft on the T-issue since he became a member of the Union Cabinet, met Singh at his office on Saturday along with ministerial colleagues M M Pallam Raju, D Purandeswari and K Chiranjeevi.
As a last-ditch effort to stall the T-process, the ministerial delegation from Seemandhra tried to persuade the Prime Minister not to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. In the wake of indications that the Congress core group had in principle decided to carve out a Telangana State at its meeting held on Friday, the delegation urged Singh not to execute the decision. But, according to sources, the ministerial quartet did not get a satisfactory response from their boss.
“It was a collective decision of the party leaders. As an individual, I can’t do anything on the Telangana issue,” the Prime Minister was quoted as saying.
After meeting Singh, no minister came forward to interact with the media, which indicated that the Seemandhra flock was disappointed by the helplessness of the Prime Minister to reverse the T-decision taken by the Congress core committee.
But by Saturday evening, Kavuri Sambasiva Rao spoke to some journalists and said abide by whatever decision their party leadership took on the issue.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has told the top Congress leadership that he would not be party to division of the State.
A minister from Seemandhra, who came back to Hyderabad on Saturday night, told Express that the group was fully convinced that their party leadership was in no mood to change its decision of bifurcating the State.
“We continue to issue threats (of quitting) to the party leadership to be seen as heroes in our region,” the minister said.