A highlight of the Congress Core Committee meeting was the searching questions put forth by AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi to Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and his deputy, C. Damodar Raj Narasimha, on crucial issues that would influence the party’s decision on Telangana.

Playing a pro-active role, Mr. Rahul Gandhi sought convincing replies on issues like the safety of Seemandhra people living in Hyderabad, sharing of water resources, power-related issues, law and order, and the party’s prospects in the future elections.

Incidentally, it was Mr. Gandhi’s first appearance in the Core Committee meeting and all through the presentations by the CM, the Deputy CM and PCC chief B. Satyanarayana, he showed concern about the fate of people from Seemandhra residing in the Telangana region.

The Chief Minister is reported to have shared his concern but the Deputy CM sought to clear the air saying that Hyderabad was home for people from all parts of the country since several generations.

It had transformed into a world class city from being just a cosmopolitan city and, therefore, no harm would be caused to Seemandhra people. Mr. Kiran Reddy said the only benefit accruing by dividing the State would be assuaging the sentiments of the people of Telangana while almost every other aspect was stacked against such a decision.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who intervened on and off, asked Mr. Kiran Reddy about the political benefits of not dividing the State.

A Congress MP told The Hindu that Mr. Reddy said that there could be no assured benefit. He argued that the Congress party should consider whether its decision was in the interests of the country and the State or merely to assuage the Telangana people’s sentiment. 

The MP said, “Ms. Sonia Gandhi replied by asking aloud whether people would vote on an idealistic basis. Nevertheless, Mr. Rahul Gandhi concurred with Mr. Reddy on this score.”