The Telugu Desam Party faced the threat of a vertical split along regional lines on Monday as MLAs from Telangana strongly demanded formation of a separate committee for the region. Besides, legislators from Telangana and those from Andhra and Rayalaseema held separate meetings to chalk out their future course of action.
Reacting to the separate meetings, TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu blamed the Centre's midnight decision on Telangana for plunging the State into political crisis, sparking off violent agitations, causing a split in all political parties and dividing people.
But for the 'hasty' decision, a disciplined party for 28 years like the TDP would not have faced the threat of a split. Nevertheless attempts would be made to convince both sides not to precipitate matters.
Though appearing part of the party's broader strategy, the Telangana MLAs struck a strident posture and raised pro-Telangana slogans while addressing journalists after their meeting in the Assembly premises. Led by TDP deputy leaders in the Assembly Nagam Janardhan Reddy and M. Narasimhulu, they said they passed a resolution requesting Mr. Naidu to constitute a State wing of the TDP exclusively for Telangana. Asked if they had some one in mind to head the unit, they said "let it happen first and then we can think of its leader."
By two other resolutions, the Telangana legislators demanded immediate introduction of a Bill in Parliament for creation of a new State and expressed its firm resolve to take up a struggle if the UPA government went back on its word to initiate the process of formation of a separate Telangana. Mr. Janardhan Reddy said all MPs, MLAs and MLCs of the TDP from Telangana were committed to statehood.