The Congress high command on Monday told Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy that he should ensure that none of the party’s members of Legislative Assembly or Members of Parliament from the state resign during the budget session over the issue of Telangana.
The Congress wants to ensure that the forthcoming budget session in Parliament and in the Andhra Pradesh assembly passes smoothly.
Present a good budget and see to it that the flock stays united, Reddy was reportedly told by the party’s top brass on Monday.
During his meetings with senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and party president Sonia Gandhi, Reddy was told that the budget was extremely important in the Congress’s scheme of things as the party was going to face the general election as well as the polls in Andhra Pradesh next year.
Although the rest of the political parties could foment trouble on the issue of a separate state, the Congress has to keep its own house in order since it has 31 Members of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh. The Telugu Desam Party has five MPs, the YSR Congress Party has two while the MIM and the Communist Party of India - Marxist have one each.
According to sources, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government has been dilly-dallying about taking a final decision on Telangana as it fears mass resignations from either those Congress MPs who support the cause or those who oppose it.
But the Congress’s ploy to buy more time has not gone down too well with the party MPs from Telangana. They had initially threatened to resign but failed to do so during their meeting with the party high command. They were asked to keep their decision on hold with an assurance that the decision to create Telangana would be announced after the budget session.
The Congress, which is on the backfoot in Andhra, is desperate to ensure that a people-friendly budget is passed by the first week of March. The party is also facing a major threat from the YSR Congress Party. It plans to appease Telangana activists by promising to create a separate state and placate those against the creation of a separate state by presenting a state budget which has many benefits for the regions of Andhra and Rayalseema.