Will Cong give in to Telangana demand to counter Jagan?
The Congress is not taking the drubbing it received in the recent Kadapa by-polls at the hands of YSR Congress President Jaganmohan Reddy lying down. Congress's defeat may in fact come as a blessing in disguise to all those who have been demanding a separate Telangana state. Indications are clear that come June and the Union government may finally announce the formation of a separate state.
Recently, at the meeting with Congress MLAs Ghulam Nabi Azad, All India Congress Committee in-charge of Andhra Pradesh affairs, the issue of formation of Telangana had come up for discussion and the MLAs appeared to be unanimous in their decision of granting a separate state.
One of the MLAs, who attended that meeting, disclosed that Azad had taken a lot of interest in this movement and had asked more questions that one expected. The meeting, which lasted a couple of hours, first took stock of the Jagan's victory and Azad was clearly told that this is a trend which will soon grip other parts of the state.
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Image: YSR Congress President Jaganmohan Reddy
Photographs: Snaps India
'In Andhra, Cong's future looks bleak'
The meeting also took note of the fact that Jagan was likely to do well in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra but his chances in Telangana are not good and hence the only option would be to counter him was by granting a separate state. However, Azad continued to ask several questions regarding the formation of Telangana.
He asked what the implications of such a decision would be and how the public would react. The MLAs told him clearly that it would be better to save one region than lose out on both since the future as far as the rest of Andhra Pradesh goes looks bleak for now.
However, the MLAs indicated that if Telangana was granted statehood then the Congress would be credited and it would work in favour of the party in the forthcoming elections. According to the MLAs, formation of Telangana was their only available option and the Congress could be in dire straits if it did not act.
Image: Ex-CM K Rosiah and MIM leader Uddain Owaisi with Ghulam Nabi Azad, AICC in-charge of Andhra
Photographs: Snaps India
Telangana issue, Jagan's biggest drawback
Jagan has remained non-committal and political experts point out that for all his clout and power the Telangana issue continues to remain his biggest drawback.
Image: Pro-Telangana students participate in a protest demanding a separate state
Cong-TRS tie-up on the cards?
During the meeting a tie-up with the Telangana Rashtriya Samithi was also discussed and the leaders indicated that it would be better if such an option was worked out.
The TRS the only other party, which can pose a threat to the Congress in Telangana.
Image: TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao
End of the road for Andhra CM?
Although Azad was non-committal about a change in the leadership, indications are clear that Reddy will not be able to continue once the Congress agrees to the formation of a separate state. Sources say that the high command may act against Reddy and appoint a more neutral candidate in his place. The name of B Sathyanarayana, a supporter of the Telangana movement, is now doing the rounds to replace Reddy.
The Kadapa poll verdict has had its effects on almost all other parties. Even the Telegu Desam Party now realises that it is time to play the Telangana card. The TDP however finds itself at a disadvantage when compared to the Congress since it does not have the power to make a decision. They will now up the ante for the movement and on May 23 its MLAs will organise a padayatra between Hyderabad and Nalgunda in support of the movement.
Image: Andhra CM Kiran Kumar Reddy