The Telangana Congress leaders appeared to be divided over the conduct of the proposed public meeting on June 30.

A section of senior leaders including Minister K. Jana Reddy are of the view that the proposed meeting was aimed at sending across a message to the party leadership about the need to concede the demand in the party’s interests. The public meeting would also help in motivating the cadre that had been lying low for some time now.

Another section, however, feels that the meeting would serve no purpose as the debate was now on whether or not the party leadership would announce a package for Telangana or a roadmap for statehood. The issue figured in a meeting of senior leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Rajanarsimha, Mr. Jana Reddy and former Ministers D.L. Ravindra Reddy and K. Venkat Reddy, in the Assembly lobbies on Thursday.

Positive announcement likely

The Deputy Chief Minister, who returned from New Delhi in the morning, reportedly told the meeting that there were indications of a positive announcement on the issue. But Mr. Venkat Reddy is understood to have said that the Home Ministry had already prepared a financial package.

“There is no point in announcing through the meeting that they will not contest if Telangana is not conceded as it will not cut ice with the people. There is uncertainty over the prospects of several senior leaders including Ministers,” a senior leader said.

The meeting would yield results if the leaders, Ministers from Telangana in particular, are prepared to send a strong message that they will quit their posts if the high command looks at alternatives such as packages instead of separate State, he pointed out. Mr. Jana Reddy told reporters later that creation of separate State sooner or later was inevitable and he was keen that the Congress took the credit for carving out Telangana State by conceding the demand.

TRS secretary general K. Keshava Rao, on the other hand, exhorted the Congress leaders to quit if their leadership failed to concede the demand .