Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal on Saturday took a swipe at Sonia Gandhi, saying she "ignored" the groundswell of support against division of Andhra Pradesh by not listening to the party leaders on the issue.
"Unfortunately, the Congress high command did not listen to feelings of Union ministers from Seemandhra, of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, state ministers, Pradesh Congress Committee president, MPs and MLAs," Rajagopal told reporters in Vijaywada.
He alleged that leaders who have become "politically irrelevant" were drafted in to formulate a proposal to divide Andhra Pradesh.
"..Some of the Union ministers who never won any direct election and some others who have lost confidence of the people and searching for new constituencies are actively involved in the process of bifurcation of the state," the MP said.
He said Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has always lent patient hearing to the party members.
"In many meetings of Congress, Rahul asked the party members to listen to and understand feelings of the common man. Rahul always advocated distribution of power to people to strengthen democracy," Rajagopal said.
The MP was referring to the Union Cabinet's move to clear the Telangana Bill on Friday even though Andhra Pradesh assembly had rejected the draft legislation.
He also attacked Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on the issue.
"Chidambaram never respected his colleagues from Seemandhra region on the issue....Our Union ministers from Seemandhra are demoralised," Rajagopal said.
He also appealed to President Pranab Mukherjee to listen to his "conscience" and reject the bill.
On tabling of the bill in Rajya Sabha next week, the MP said, "We are moving with a strategy to get the support of some opposition parties to not allow the bill in Rajya Sabha."
He also urged Union ministers from Seemandhra region to enter the Upper House to stall the proceedings.
Image: Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal