Third phase from today; Kiran may participate in the programme at Sangareddy

The third phase of Rachabanda mass contact programme kicks off from Monday amid assertions by Telangana leaders that Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy is not welcome in the region.

The present round of mass contact programme from November 11 to 26 comes at a time when the Chief Minister has adopted a defiant stand on division of the State. While the ruling Congress leaders are facing the heat in Seemandhra region for the party’s decision to go ahead with bifurcation, Telangana Congress leaders are also sceptical over inviting the Chief Minister to the meetings in their region.

In this backdrop, TRS leader T. Harish Rao on Sunday gave a call to the cadres to oppose any visit by Mr. Kiran Reddy to Telangana districts for his strident stand against bifurcation.

He went to the extent of warning the Congress Ministers and the elected representatives that they would be branded traitors, if Mr. Reddy was invited for the programmes in the region.

However, sources in the Chief Minister’s camp told The Hindu on Sunday that he may participate in the programme in Sangareddy town on November 13. Incidentally, the constituency is represented by Government Whip Toorpu Jayaprakash Reddy, a known TRS baiter and considered close to the Chief Minister. Mr. Kiran Reddy is not likely to participate in the programmes on the first two days.

Main agenda

Minister for Information and Public Relations D. K. Aruna said distribution of rations cards, house pattas and pensions was the main agenda of Rachabanda, which she asserted, would be the last one in the united State.

Official sources maintain that Seemandhra Ministers may attend the Rachabanda programmes in their respective districts. They point out that the seriousness of the agitation against division has subsided to some extent after the government employees decided to return to work. However, there are still doubts whether the Ministers would attend the meetings in wake of the continuing agitation by some political parties, who have been targeting the Congress leaders.

Party leaders point out that the Chief Minister could utilise the opportunity to tour the State and launch yet another round of diatribe against the Central leadership for going ahead with the process of division. They feel Mr. Kiran Reddy could use the welfare and development schemes to drive home the point that bifurcation could upset the ongoing programmes and plunge the State into uncertainty.