Unity eluded the three-day old Joint Action Committee (JAC), formed to take the separate Telangana movement forward, with the main political parties already pulling in different directions.
While the Telugu Desam Party has bluntly refused to join the JAC making it clear that it would carry on a struggle on its own, cracks seemed to have developed in the cosy relationship witnessed so far between the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the Congress.
A day after the TDP’s announcement on maintaining a distance, the JAC convenor, C. Kodandaram rushed to senior TDP MLA, Nagam Janardhan Reddy recovering from the injuries he received in an attack at the Osmania University campus. Prof. Kodandaram’s diplomacy on Saturday to rope in the TDP into the JAC failed as Dr. Janardhan Reddy stuck to the unanimous decision of his party to keep away.
Dr. Reddy told journalists that on one side the JAC wanted the TDP to join it but on the other, TRS chief, K. Chandrasekhara Rao was provoking attacks on party leaders. “Hidden behind Mr. Rao’s appeal in asking us to quit the party is a secret agenda.”
Referring to the Congress, he said it had no clarity of views on Telangana as was clear from the conflicting statements emanating from Central government. Till date, the national party had not made its stand clear even to its own UPA sub-committee headed by Pranab Mukherjee but blamed the TDP which fully supported the move to adopt resolution on Telangana in the Assembly.
But Prof. Kodandaram said he was hopeful of bringing the TDP into the JAC fold. Dr. Reddy had responded positively to forging a united struggle and had insisted on conducive atmosphere for all parties to come on a common platform.
On the other hand, senior Congress leader, K. Jana Reddy openly differed with Mr. Chandrasekhara Rao’s call for indefinite bandh from December 29. He asserted that the core committee of the JAC was yet to be formed and “there will be no bandh till we make an announcement on it.” Within the Congress, there were some who were against agitation that caused inconvenience to people especially the poor.
Emerging out of a meeting with the Congress MLAs, Mr. Jana Reddy made another significant announcement that Congress would lead the JAC, asserting it was the only party having the capacity to carve out a State. “But we will treat other parties as equal partners,” he however clarified hurriedly.
Another bone of contention was on setting a deadline for Centre for formation of Telangana. While the Congress leaders seemed to be against fixing of timeline other parties and organisations within the JAC favour it, citing the second statement of the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram. The statement lacked clarity resulting in lot of apprehensions in Telangana.