Congress leaders from Telangana tried to upstage other political parties by sending across a message at a well-attended public meeting here on Sunday that their high command had taken a decision on the separate Statehood issue and would make an announcement very soon.

There was an impressive turnout of people at the ‘Telangana Sadhana Sabha’, held at the Nizam College grounds and Congress leaders conveyed an impression that they were upbeat, judging by their show of unity. Almost all the key party leaders from the region, barring three Ministers, Danam Nagender, M. Mukesh Goud and R. Venkat Reddy, attended the rally.

The central theme of speeches by nearly 40 speakers – Ministers, MPs and MLAs -- was that the Congress party alone was in a position to concede the demand for Telangana and that president Sonia Gandhi would fulfil her promise. They made a fervent appeal to the youth and students not to take any hasty decision and end their lives.

A resolution reiterating the aspirations of the Congress leaders for formation of a separate Telangana State was passed. Minister for Panchayat Raj K. Jana Reddy, who presided, said the struggle for Telangana has reached a crucial stage and the high command was convinced about bifurcation. “This meeting is just to impress the people that Ms. Gandhi will concede Telangana,” he remarked.

In hard hitting speech laced with catchy phrases, Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Reddy said Telangana had distinct identity of 3,000 years and the struggle for separate State was going on for the last 70 years. “Our struggle is for existence and self respect,” he said.

He said bifurcation should take place with mutual respect for all regions.

Former PCC chief D. Srinivas said: “Signals emanating from Centre indicate that they are in favour of a separate State . Even though the State may be divided, there will be emotional relationship among the Telugu speaking people,” he pointed out.