With protests mounting across Andhra Pradesh and the “consensus” over separate statehood for Telangana in tatters, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday informed agitated MPs from the Rayalaseema and Andhra regions of the State that “nothing will be done in haste.”
Armed with this assurance, the MPs are now heading back to their respective constituencies with the mission of getting Congress legislators who have submitted their resignations to withdraw their mark of protest and allow tempers to cool. However, S.P.Y. Reddy – who represents Nandyal in the Lok Sabha – faxed his resignation to the Speaker in the evening from his constituency.
Though the resolution that was to be moved in the State Assembly for creation of Telangana has been kept in abeyance for now, the Congress appears to have almost institutionalised the divide within the party by meeting Andhra and Rayalseema MPs in one group and those hailing from Telangana separately. However, the MPs themselves maintained that there was no bad blood between them.
Talking to reporters after their meeting with Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee and P. Chidambaram later in the day, Lok Sabha member K.S. Rao said there was no rethink within the government on Telangana. And, there was all-round acknowledgement among Andhra and Rayalaseema MPs that there can be no going back on this count.
Pointing out that this was a commitment made in the Congress manifesto, they sought to underline the fact that Mr. Chidambaram in his Wednesday night statement announcing the initiation of the process for creation of Telangana had not set a time frame. “How can the resolution be brought to the Assembly when there is absolutely no consensus on the issue.”
Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai’s statement in Jammu that “I think Hyderabad will always be the capital of Telangana” added to the confusion. Given the immediate adverse reaction to the statement, the Home Ministry immediately stepped in to state that he had been misquoted.