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Congress calculations on Telangana

July 29, 2013 14:02 IST

The Congress will most likely take a decision regarding the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, but according to sources, the party already had made up its mind on December 22 last year. 

Sources told that the final call on Telangana statehood was delayed due to Congress party’s political considerations vis-a-vis YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy and Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekara Rao.

By announcing Telangana, the Congress aims to kill two birds with one stone.

On December 22, 2012, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana were summoned to New Delhi and told that the party had decided on carving out Telangana.

Enough and more time had been given to strike a deal with both KCR and Jagan, but none of them worked out.

However, Reddy told the Congress leaders in Delhi that he would need some more time and a decision to this effect needed to be put off.

Even during the last few meetings, Reddy held he was hopeful that the Congress would not take a decision in favour of Telangana.

He even went up to the extent of telling that the Congress had not fared badly at all in the local body elections and that this should be a precursor that the party can do well without an announcement on Telangana.

The argument in the Congress higher circles was that if they did not make any positive announcement on Telangana, then they would end up with zero seats in the Telangana region. 

Moreover, the Congress is already in a battle with the YSR Congress, which the party are sure will eat into their vote share in the Seema-Andhra regions.

The Congress thinking now is that the TRS will be decimated in Telangana if Congress announces a separate state. They have been quoting a couple of statements that have been made by the TRS in the recent past. They feel that announcing Telangana would mean robbing the TRS of an agenda.

The Congress is sure that while the TRS may fare decently in the next elections, five years down the line the party will not exist if Telangana is formed. The Congress is quite sure that the TRS would seek the support of the Congress sooner or later and to this effect their belief is that TRS is under their control.

In Jagan Mohan Reddy’s case, the Congress thinking is slightly different.

The party is sure that he will eat into their vote share in the Seema-Andhra region.

However, they are also confident that once Telangana is announced, the YSR Congress party will not open its account in this region.

There’s a sense of over confidence in the YSR Congress. The party believes that it will win the elections with absolute majority. But, in reality, Jagan may still need outside support to form a government.

The Congress is banking very heavily on Jagan’s anti-National Democratic Alliance stand. It is very clear that Jagan will support only the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance if the latter manages to form the government in 2014. 

Vicky Nanjappa