Telangana boils in anger over 'Congress betrayal'
The Centre's failure to arrive on a decision on Telangana has angered people looking forward to the creation of the new state. Vicky Nanjappa talks to leaders of the major parties leading the pro-Telangana campaign to guage their reactions
With the central government leaving the issue open-ended once again and seeking more time, those expecting a positive announcement on creation of the Telangana state were left disappointed and seething in anger.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the Political Joint Action Committee for Telangana and the Muslim Forum for Telangana are visibly upset with the Centre's statement that it needed more discussions.
TRS spokesperson Subhash Reddy explains how the falling out of a deal between his party and the Congress may have led to the delay in the formation of Telangana.
"It was almost decided that both the Congress and the TRS would merge. I along with K Chandrasekara Rao and many other were in Delhi in September. During the talks with the Congress high command, it was decided that the two parties would merge."
"We met Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Vayalar Ravi regarding the issue and the main bone of contention for the Congress was who would take the credit if Telangana was formed. We were very clear and said that it was more important that the state is formed and if a merger meant that a separate state would be granted then we were ready for the same."
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A merger with Congress is out of the question for now: TRS
"The Congress made it clear to us in September that a merger would take place in 15 days. We were told that even Congress President Sonia Gandhi had said that Telangana would be granted only if a merger took place. This talk about a merger is what gave everyone hope. However, till date the Congress has not broached that subject again and we continue to wait."
"I really do not know what made the Congress give such a statement. Everyone in the TRS feels that it was the sudden surge in lobbying by the leaders of the Rayalseema and Andhra region, which may have made the Congress have second thoughts."
"Today, we have no option but to continue our fight. A merger is out of the question for now. We will put out our set of candidates and fight the elections on our own. We are hopeful that we will win at least 14 seats in the parliamentary elections and trust me, this is a huge number."
"It is then for the Congress to approach us. If there is an alliance it would only be post poll and for the moment we are not agreeable on a pre poll alliance."
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'The Congress statement has only shaken up the faith that the people have in democracy'
Joint Action Committee on Telangana chief Kodandaram said: "We can only continue our fight. We were all very hopeful that there would be a positive decision and we feel cheated yet again. We have come to realise that it is the Congress that is the stumbling block in this fight of ours."
"It makes no sense to us. There was every indication that a state would be formed. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had said that the time for consultation was over and that only a decision was pending. I really do not know what Ghulam Nabi Azad meant when he said that there was more consultation to be done. It is a betrayal."
Muslim Forum for Telangana chief Lateef Mohammad Khan said, "The Congress does nothing but maintain status quo on every issue. Due to this attitude, a simple issue has made into a very complex one. The Congress statement has only shaken up the faith that the people have in democracy."
"Who is Ghulam Nabi Azad to issue such statements? He does not enjoy confidence in his own state. Today, we have come to realise that unless and until the Congress is finished there can never be a closure regarding Telangana."
Image: TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao with Joint Action Committee on Telangana chief Kodandaram
10 reasons why Congress delayed Telangana call
"I cannot understand why there was such a change in mind. I am given to understand that a change occurred after Rahul Gandhi took over the party. However, I would also like to blame K Chandrasekara Rao for this fiasco. Instead of seizing the moment and pressurising the Congress, he decided to play politics. He is more interested in holding on to power and bargaining for more power. He ought to have made amends."
Here are ten reasons why the government may have changed its mind on a Telangana state:
1) Leaders from the Andhra and Rayalseema regions had decided to resign, which threatened to pull down the Congress government in the state.
2) The core committee members discussing Telangana had no consensus.
3) The land mafia controlling Hyderabad has too much control over the government.
4) There was never any consensus on the status of Hyderabad.
5) All other political parties were not ready to take any decision and left it entirely to the Congress. The Congress, on the other hand, did not want to look like the only one deciding on the issue.
6) There were views that the Congress should wait until the Budget session is over and only then take a decision.
7) There was never any concrete plan drawn out by the home ministry.
8) Intelligence reports suggested major trouble in the Rayalseema region if Telangana was formed.
9) Cries for a separate Rayalseema state became stronger if Telangana was formed.
10) The Congress and the TRS could not strike a merger deal and unless this was done neither parties was ready to allow the formation of a separate Telangana state.
Image: K Chandrasekara Rao