“Everyone in Telangana was glued to their television sets on Thursday and we saw Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde tabling the Telangana bill. But We fail to understand why Sushma Swaraj had to issue a statement which was nothing but a lie," says SJAC leader Sangam Prithviraj.
Local BJP leaders, who were expecting to win at least three seats from the Telangana region this time, feel that the statements by senior leaders L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj on Thursday are counter-productive to their future plans.
Some BJP Bharatiya Janata Party workers are planning to approach Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to issue a statement to undo the damage. What has worried them the most is that since Thursday, there is a sudden anti-BJP sentiment in the region, with the people saying that the party has probably played one of the biggest double games concerning Telangana.
The Students’ Joint Action Committee, which has always led the Telangana protests, alleges that the biggest culprit is the BJP.
“Everyone in Telangana was glued to their television sets on Thursday and we saw Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde tabling the bill. We fail to understand why Swaraj had to issue a statement which was nothing but a lie," says SJAC leader Sangam Prithviraj.
Swaraj on Thursday had questioned if the Telangana statehood bill had been formally introduced in the Lok Sabha.
He adds that Swaraj was considered like a mother in the Telangana region.
“She has visited so many times and sympathised with families of those who had committed suicide for the cause. Just three days ago, she was on TV and almost broke down while sympathising with our cause. Now she has fallen prey to the deadly combination of Venkaiah Naidu and Chandrababu Naidu. The TDP is repeatedly holding the BJP to ransom on the issue of alliance, and hence the BJP has done this flip-flop on the issue,” he added.
The BJP in Telangana has meanwhile upped the ante against their own party leadership. They say that the worst possible decision would be to ally with the TDP. Several members during their discussions following the proceedings in Parliament, feel that the BJP’s double speak on the issue is only because of the TDP.
Barring Kishan Reddy, the BJP chief in the state, all the other members of the party have decided to resign en masse if the BJP fails to push the Bill through, and also allies with the TDP.
Kishan Reddy however said at a function that the BJP was committed to the formation of Telangana and the Bill will be supported by the party. The talk of alliances both in Telangana and Seema-Andhra will be decided only after the elections.
All the Joint Action Committees on Telangana have decided to wait until Monday before they begin their agitation. JAC leaders say they wanted to carry out a major agitation against the BJP for what they did on Thursday, but have decided to wait and watch.
“We will see what happens on Monday as we have been assured that the Bill will go through on the same day. If we continue to find that Parliament is not serious about passing the Bill, we will get back to the streets and protest,” JAC leaders say.
Image: BJP Andhra President G Kishan Reddy. Photograph: SnapsIndia.