Special Correspondent

Party functionaries speak in different voices on Telangana

Opposition to members from other regions on Telangana panel grows shriller

Section of party wants tough action against those airing their views publicly

HYDERABAD: Several Telugu Desam Party functionaries from Telangana continued to speak in different voices on the ticklish issue of a separate State, causing embarrassment to the leadership, which had directed them not to go public.

While opposition to the presence of members from other regions on the party’s core committee on Telangana grew shriller, a section of the functionaries on Sunday wanted the leadership to act tough against those airing views publicly.

They included R. Prakash Reddy of Warangal, P. Chandrasekhar of Mahbubnagar and G. Hanumantha Rao. They are believed to have made this point directly to the TDP president N.Chandrababu Naidu, who held a teleconference with district leaders on Sunday morning. He reportedly told them that he was watching all the developments.

Firm stand

However those taking a pro-Telangana stand remained unruffled. A day after former Minister E. Peddi Reddy questioned the rationale in having non-Telangana persons on the panel, two senior leaders, Kadiam Srihari and Ch. Rajeshwar Rao, endorsed his views.

It might not be proper to elicit the views of leaders from Andhra and Rayalaseema, who were against a separate State, observed Mr. Srihari.

On the other hand, it would be better if the leadership took a majority opinion of the functionaries within Telangana, he said.

He lambasted Kovvur legislator P.V. Krishna Rao for accusing him and Mr. Rajeshwar Rao of trying to blackmail the leadership. His remarks amounted to insulting the people of the region and could not be tolerated, Mr. Srihari added.

Wishes of people

They had only been asking the party to take a decision in accordance with the wishes of the people of Telangana ‘who want a separate State’. For the past 50 years, there had been discontent among the people and it was showing up at frequent intervals. All parties need to analyse this and act accordingly, Mr. Srihari added.

Mr. Rajeshwar Rao described Mr. Peddi Reddy’s suggestion as “practical” and said the party leadership should examine it.