Senior Congress leader K. Keshava Rao threw a bombshell on Sunday by saying that he did not trust his party to concede separate Telangana at the end of the month-long deadline that it had set for itself following the all-party meeting on the statehood issue at New Delhi.

“The issue will be resolved only with people’s movements and when they vote on the plank of Telangana in the next elections. It is all in your (people’s) hands,” he said at a meeting to release the New Year diary of the Telangana employees association here on Sunday.

Surprise call

Mr. Rao asked the supporters of Telangana to target 12 Congress MLAs who submitted their resignations but withdrew them after having sworn in the name of the youth who committed suicide for the cause of statehood for Telangana. The MLAs were the betrayers of Telangana because the demand would have been met if they had pressed their resignation.

He said he was of the opinion from the beginning that the all-party meeting was “bogus” as the demand would not get resolved at such fora. The meeting was convened to tide over a crisis when the Congress MPs from Telangana threatened to abstain from voting in the Lok Sabha on foreign direct investment. The MPs agreed to participate in the voting after Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal gave them an assurance on Telangana.

Pressure on MPs

Congress MP G. Vivekanand said there was a lot of pressure on party MPs from Telangana in the struggle for statehood. Their position was similar to employees who flouted service rules while carrying out the agitation over the demand. The Telangana employees’ joint action committee chairman G. Deviprasad Rao said the staff will strike work if the formation of Telangana was not announced.

Telangana JAC chairman M. Kodandaram demanded a positive announcement on Telanagana by January 26 or else Congress, TDP and YSR Congress will be held responsible, he said.

TRS floor leader in Assembly Eatala Rajender denied criticism that his party had sabotaged the 40-day strike by employees for separate Telangana last year. To prove their commitment to Telangana, BJP State president G. Kishan Reddy demanded action by Congress and TDP against their leaders from the coastal districts who were opposed to bifurcation.