Congress seems to be divided on attitude to Naidu yatra

The political temperature in Krishna district, the unofficial hub for the movement against the division of the state, has been increasing with the Congress and the Telugu Desam preparing for a confrontation on the Telangana issue.

The countdown for January 28, the deadline announced for the Centre's decision on the issue, has also begun. The entry of ‘Vastunna Meekosam Padayatra’ into the district on January 21 at Jaggaiahpet will be the flash-point between Congress and Telugu Desam.

The Congress leaders seem to be divided about the kind of ‘welcome’ they should give to TDP president and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu as he enters the district.

Pedana MLA and leader of the movement against division of the state Jogi Ramesh said that he, along with his supporters, will stop Mr. Naidu from entering the district. He said that he would do that because Mr. Naidu had supported the division of the state in his letter to the Centre.

The TDP leaders retorted to the MLAs statement saying that they would get the public to “strip and spank” them if Mr. Naidu’s entry into the district was prevented.

Reacting to the statement of his co-legislator Nandigama MLA Tangirala Prabhakar who reportedly said that “heads will roll” if Congress workers created obstacles to Mr. Naidu’s padayatra, City Congress ST cell chairman T. Nageswara Rao demanded the police to take the MLA into custody for making such provocative statements.

He wanted the TDP leaders of the district led by Mylavaram MLA Devineni Umamaheswara Rao to make public their stand on the division of the state.

The Congress leaders have been from the outset slamming the TDP leaders on the change in their stand.

They recalled that Mr. Umamaheswara Rao was first among the party leaders to launch an indefinite hunger strike and saying that he was ready to laid down his life to prevent the division of the state.

Meanwhile, the supporters of Vijayawada MLA Lagadapati Rajagopal announced that their leader would take out a campaign to make Mr. Naidu realise the damage the division of the State would do to the people of the district. The campaign christened ‘Kanuvippu’ (eye-opener) would tell the Telugu Desam leader to open his eyes and see the harm that would befall the state.

Mr. Rajagopal addressing a press conference in Delhi on Thursday said that the entry of Mr. Naidu into the district would be welcomed.

“We will lay out a red carpet for him and then tell him with love and affection the harm the division will do to the Telugu people,” he said.