HYDERABAD: Sharp differences between the Congress leaders of different regions over the status of Hyderabad in the event of formation of separate Telangana State have come to the fore yet again.

A remark made by former Minister and senior Congress leader J.C. Diwakar Reddy hailing from Rayalaseema region in favour of declaring Hyderabad as Union Territory attracted severe criticism from his Telangana counterparts. The Congress Legislature Party office on the Assembly premises became the venue for the senior Congress leaders to trade charges against one another at separate press conferences.

JC ridiculed

Reacting strongly to the demand for declaration of Hyderabad as Union Territory, former Minister R. Damodar Reddy who is actively involved in the Joint Action Committee on Telangana claimed that “Hyderabad is not an ancestral property of Mr. Diwakar Reddy” while another senior Telangana leader T. Jeevan Reddy saw a conspiracy to destabilise the economic situation of the region.

Mr. Damodar Reddy ridiculed Mr. Diwakar Reddy’s assertion that AICC president Sonia Gandhi was “supreme judge” on Telangana and every one should abide by the decision of the Congress high command on the issue. “Is it not Mr. Diwakar Reddy who triggered agitation for unified State by submitting his resignation after Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement?” he asked.

He said Congress MLAs from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions supported the one line resolution authorising Ms. Gandhi to take a decision on Telangana, but took a U-turn later.

Mr. Diwakar Reddy earlier refuted charges that he had resigned from his post at the behest of Chief Minister K. Rosaiah saying “it is absurd to charge senior leaders like me with taking decisions under the influence of somebody”. Alleging that some politicians who were seeking rehabilitation were carrying out agitations for separate State, he wanted the high command to consider the views expressed by all regions, rather than taking a unilateral decision.

Mr. Jeevan Reddy dismissed claims on investments made by other regions for development of Hyderabad stating that the money was invested with an eye on the business interests and that they secured lion’s share in allotment of land in return.