Stop short of threatening to quit their positions if high command goes ahead with bifurcation

Ministers and Congress legislators from Seemandhra have decided to make a determined effort to prevail upon the Centre not to bifurcate the State by going in a large delegation to New Delhi on January 21.

Striking a belligerent posture, they stopped short of threatening to quit their positions if the high command went ahead with bifurcation of the State. They unanimously resolved at a meeting held here on Thursday not to accept anything short of a united State, S. Sailajanath, convenor of AP Congress Legislators Forum said. The meeting was held against the backdrop of growing speculation that the Centre was veering towards taking a decision in favour of Telangana.

Over 70 Congress MLAs, including 16 Ministers, attended a meeting held at the Club House in the Ministers’ Quarters at Banjara Hills, venue of a similar meeting of Telangana leaders sometime ago. A large contingent of Seemandhra leaders will make the trip to Delhi with Ministers assigned the responsibility of mobilising the party MLAs and MLCs of their respective districts. A few senior leaders were asked to talk to MPs and MLAs of other political parties to launch a united struggle against bifurcation. A resolution was unanimously adopted at the meeting, quoting Indira Gandhi’s statement in support of an integrated State.

It said “keeping in view the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country at large and also in the interest of all Telugu-speaking people of Andhra Pradesh, the meeting endorses the statement of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the Lok Sabha that she firmly stood for an integrated State of Andhra Pradesh after considering the pros and cons of the two agitations.” A Minister told The Hindu that a majority of those who attended Thursday’s meeting felt they should make their concerns clear to the Congress core committee.

They felt that Seemandhra leaders had been outsmarted by their Telangana counterparts. Minister Kondru Murali Mohan reportedly took a pot-shot at Seemandhra MPs for not doing their bit in opposing Telangana and was supported by a few others on this score.