In a related development, Sonia Gandhi meets the President

Wary of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s rebellious mood, the Centre seem to be banking on the feedback furnished by Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan to accomplish its mission of bifurcation of the State by December-end.

Mr. Narasimhan’s three-day-long stay in New Delhi, first time after the Congress Working Committee’s July 30 decision on separate Telangana, his back-to-back meetings with virtually who is who of the Congress establishment, including M. Veerappa Moily and A.K. Antony, and then the President, Pranab Mukherjee, seem to point to the Centre’s reliance on him in smoothening the process of formation of Telangana. Significantly, it was reportedly after getting the Governor’s inputs on the unfolding political scenario post-bifurcation decision that the AICC president, Sonia Gandhi, drove down to Rashtrapathi Bhavan to have a word with Mr. Mukherjee on Thursday. The way forward on Telangana appeared to have figured in their discussions. Ms. Gandhi’s meeting the President assumes significance in the backdrop of the hope nurtured by Seemandhra Congress leaders that he could stall the process, by expressing reservations over the method of bifurcation being adopted by the Centre. Incidentally, her meeting with the President took place hours before a huge delegation of Seemandhra Ministers and MLAs met him.

Political calculations

Apparently the Congress is not taking any risks and wants to ensure that the Telangana Bill comes up before Parliament during the winter session beginning December 5. Telangana Congress leaders assert that the high command’s entire effort now is to get the Bill passed in December and see that the two States are formed by January, giving sufficient time for the two Congress Chief Ministers to try and shore up the party’s fortunes in the 2014 general elections. Given the pace at which the Centre wants to fulfil the T- task, the Congress was relying on Mr. Narasimhan to see that the process goes on smoothly and ward off any crisis triggered by any precipitate action by the Chief Minister’s camp.