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TDP turnaround: Naidu in favour of Telangana statehood

By Vicky Nanjappa
December 19, 2012 13:01 IST
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With his position in the Andhra Rayalaseema belt slipping to number three, Chandrababu Naidu has realised that the best issue to capitalise on would be Telangana, reports Vicky Nanjappa

President of the Telugu Desam Party, Chandrababu Naidu has decided to write to the Centre seeking a favourable decision on the movement for a separate state of Telangana. Naidu has taken the decision as he does not want to find himself all alone opposing the movement.

Highly placed sources in the Telugu Desam Party told that Naidu will take part in an all party meeting to be held at Delhi on December 28 on the Telangana statehood issue. Naidu is expected to write to the Central government before this meeting. Though letter would be in favour of creation of a separate state, it is unclear as to how Naidu would word it. Sources in the TDP say that Naidu would either state that Telangana has to be formed or write that the issue needs to be resolved.

Chandrababu Naidu has always been a fence-sitter on this issue. He preferred to rest his hopes on the Andhra Rayalaseema belt, but with the formation of the YSR Congress party, his position slipped to number three in this belt after the Congress. His recent march in Andhra Pradesh too did not gain the kind of momentum he had been looking for. Like the Congress, he too realises that the Seema and Andhra belts would not give him a positive result and hence the best issue to capitalise on would be the Telangana statehood issue.

Naidu's recent statements indicate that he is slowly titling towards the Telangana movement. Earlier, he had spoken in favour of a united Andhra Pradesh, but now he says that he never opposed a separate state and would never do so in the future.

The Congress on the other hand has already decided that there is no other option but to announce the formation of Telangana. The Delhi Congress has made up its mind and is looking for a favourable time to make the announcement. They will hold an all party meeting in Delhi with the home ministry to take a decision on the issue.

Naidu would seek to gain some momentum by openly declaring support for the movement and he has been advised to do so before the Congress makes any sort of announcement. If Naidu makes an announcement favouring the movement before the Congress does, then he could put the ruling party under a lot of pressure to make a quick announcement.

All parties in Andhra Pradesh, except the TRS had been opposing the formation of Telangana. While many were vocal about it, some sat on the fence remaining noncommittal on the issue.

The YSR Congress decided to focus entirely on the Seema-Andhra regions. All it has said on Telangana is that it is for the ruling party to take a decision. Looking at the trends, it appears that there will be a wave of support in favour of the YSR Congress party in the Seema-Andhra regions, and since Telangana is an emotive issue, all the other parties have got to hold on to it.

Even the Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen, which has not been overly committal on the issue, has now been making noises in favour of the movement. Their leaders have started speaking about the importance of having a separate state and how it would benefit the minorities once Telangana has been formed.

Political parties in Andhra Pradesh have realised that a positive announcement in favour of Telangana will secure their future in politics. This region has nearly 118 and 17 MLA and MP seats respectively.

The political Joint Action Committee for Telangana has convened a meeting on whether it should be part of the all party meeting to be held in Delhi. The JAC feels that by taking part in the meeting it would get a political colour, but some members feel that important decisions could be made at the meet and it would not be safe to leave it to the political parties alone. A decision on whether it will take part in the meeting will be made public on Wednesday.

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