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Rediff.com  » News » AP: Congress faces tough time over Telangana issue

AP: Congress faces tough time over Telangana issue

Last updated on: February 17, 2011 21:51 IST

AP: Congress faces tough time over Telangana issue

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Vicky Nanjappa
The Andhra Pradesh Congress has managed to put off the Telangana issue for a while following the Srikrishna Commission report. For the first time, legislators from the Andhra assembly misbehaved with each other at the start of the budget session.

Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy put up a brave front and said that his government would survive a vote even if  some MLAs pull out from the party. Twenty Congress MLAs hailing from Telangana region had threatened to pull out from the government if the bill for a separate state was not passed in the budget session.

Now with the Union Budget nearing, the pressure is on and for the MLAs, especially from the Congress, it is a do-or-die situation. An insider terms the situation as 'desperate.'  "All of them are not even taking part in the assembly proceedings are presently campaigning in New Delhi in a bid to put pressure on the union government to pass a bill regarding Telangana," he says.


Image: Chiranjeevi with Congress leaders at the Budget session of the AP Assembly
Photographs: Snaps India
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Will Reddy's govt survive this session?

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When the Srikrishna commission report came out the Congress MLAs from the Telangana region were under the most pressure to resign. Their houses were locked up and they were told that they should not return unless they ensure a separate state was granted failing which they would have to withdraw support to the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh.

Congress sources say that their situation is a desperate. Either the MLAs will have to ensure that the bill is passed or at least to see to it that the Union government gives another assurance regarding this issue so that they could buy more time with the voter.

One of the Congress MLAs from the Telangana region told rediff.com that if the unable to achieve any of the following then they will have no option but to resign and if they don't then it would be the end of their political career. We need to think in the long term," he also said.

Now with the resignation of the Congress MLAs from Telangana imminent if the Telangana Statehood bill is not passed, the next question regards the survival of the Kiran Kumar Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh.


Image: TRS legislators confront Lok Janshakti party's Jaiprakash Narayan
Photographs: Snaps India
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The TRS has threatened to disrupt the Assembly

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Political observers say that there are problems galore for Kiran Reddy and the likes of Jagan Mohan Reddy will be looking to pounce on any such opportunity.

Moreover the Telangana Rastriya Samithi is also taking a lot of advantage of this emotional issue and there is every possibility that there will be many MLAs looking to jump to that party. T

he TRS has decided to disrupt all further assembly proceedings until a recommendation for the formation of Telangana is sent to the Centre.

With these issues, the Congress in Andhra Pradesh have pulled out their calculators.

The Congress has 156 members in the 294-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly. The magic number required would be 148 and under the existing circumstance the Congress appears to be safe.

However if the 20 MLAs from the Telangana region decide to pull out then the party numbers fall to 136 which would mean they fall short of 12 members.


Image: TRS legislators confront Lok Janshakti party's Jaiprakash Narayan outside the Assembly
Photographs: Snaps India
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PRP MLAs have demanded ministries

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However the Congress would then bank on the Praja Rajyam Party which has 18 members. While this would be more than sufficient to carry the government forward there are still some issues within the PRP which makes the Congress uneasy.

The PRP has 2 MLAs who support Jagan Mohan Reddy while there are two more from the Telangana region. This means that the Congress can leave out these 4 MLAs when it faces a trust vote in the state.

While this would also mean that the Congress still sails through with 148 members in the house, it will need to be extremely cautious when it hands out of berths to the MLAs from the PRP.

Some of the PRP MLAs have made it clear that they would remain in the government only if they are given ministries and the Congress will have a lot of soul searching to do on this issue.

In addition to this, Jagan would also try and swoop in and break into the Congress and that would ensure that their numbers suffer. The question whether the Congress would fall in Andhra Pradesh as a result of Telangana or would it manage to scrape through, only time would tell.


Image: CM Kiran Kumar Reddy
Photographs: Snaps India
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