Chief Minister meets President, Azad, Vohra and Digvijay
With the question of whether or not the budget session of the Parliament and the Andhra Pradesh Assembly would sail through smoothly worrying the Congress in the wake of threats issued for and against creation of Telangana by its party MPs, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy arrived here on Monday and discussed the issue with Congress president Sonia Gandhi. He also met President Pranab Mukherjee.
Though officials described his meeting with Mr. Mukherjee as only a courtesy call, informed sources said they indeed discussed the Telangana issue during their 20-minute interaction as the latter had once headed a committee set up by UPA-I government to examine the separate State demand. Of course, the Pranab committee was wound up before it could give a report.
Despite the government’s success to buy temporary peace in the Telangana region after a series of announcements made by Congress spokesman P.C. Chacko and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, the Congress leaders of the Seemandhara seemed to be adamant not to allow division of the State.
Besides, Ms. Gandhi, the Chief Minister had interactions with her political secretary Ahmed Patel, party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Motilal Vohra and Digvijay Singh. The Congress president, who is keen on breaking the impasse, enquired about issues such as the law and order situation in the State and how the resolution (on Telangana division) could be passed in the Assembly, sources said.
The government and the Congress are in an embarrassing situation as seven Congress MPs from Telangana have couriered their resignation letters to Ms. Gandhi. Party MPs from the Seemandhra region have also threatened to stall the Parliament if the Centre moved ahead with the process of tabling the resolution in favour of Telangana in the Assembly and subsequently in the Parliament.
“We will ensure that the resolution is defeated in the Assembly and the ‘minority group’ (those from Telangana) cannot dictate terms to us. Even in Parliament, we will ensure that the government do not get two-thirds majority to approve the Telangana Bill,” said a Congress MP from Seemandra.
The Telangana Joint Action Committee too has announced plans to block highways and organise a ‘Chalo Assembly’ stir in the coming days to intensify the Telangana protest.