The issue of formation of a separate Telangana state is becoming ticklish for Congress with each passing day as party leaders from the sensitive region in Andhra Pradesh mount pressure on it to find an early settlement.
With the budget session of Parliament on, partymen from Telangana region appear to have made a common cause in Lok Sabha with members of TRS and TDP from the region.
The leadership has brought temporary truce asking the party MPs to lie low for the next few days till the presentation of the budget is over.
Party chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have deliberated on the vexed issue time and again in the last few months including last Friday at the Congress Core Group meeting.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy is in the capital holding deliberations with top party leaders on the issue and met Ms. Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and AICC general secretary in-charge for the State M. Veerappa Moily.
Mr. Reddy’s meeting with the senior leaders come in wake of the controversy over the Telangana issue deepening in the State when the Budget session of Assembly is in progress there.
Joining protests with TRS and members of TDP, Congress MLAs from the region have been disrupting the Assembly session for last few days over the demand, while government employees of the region have launched a non-cooperation movement.
Pressing the panic button, 16 ministers of the State government belonging to Telangana wrote a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi a few days back seeking a “special and urgent” audience with her on the issue.
Sources say the top leadership has told party leaders from the region to keep patience assuring them a credible solution is being worked out.
An all party meeting of stake holders from the state has already been held and another one is likely next month.
In their missive to Ms. Gandhi, the ministers said any delay in creation of the new state will be detrimental to the party and there was “no option” to a separate Telangana.
Earlier party MPs from both Houses belonging to the region had met Mr. Mukherjee making no secret of their uncompromising stand on a separate State.
Party leaders from the region are saying that with TRS raising its tempo on the issue and MLAs from other parties in Telangana joining the chorus, their position has become precarious and fear that the party could lose popular support in Telangana region if the situation continued so.
In their letter to Ms. Gandhi, the ministers also reminded her of the promise made in party’s poll manifesto during 2004 Lok Sabha elections and on other occasions including Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s December 9, 2009 announcement on the issue which had created a controversy with leaders from non-Telangana regions opposing any move to carve out a separate State.
“It would be difficult to face public without honouring our commitment on Telangana,” they have said.
The revolt by former party MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy is also weighing heavily on the mind of Congress despite the fact that the merger of Chiranjeevi’s PRP in the party has given it some sort of a buffer.
The former MP who had formed a new party would be keenly watching the developments on Telangana front before deciding his next course of action.