Leadership takes decision after weighing all options

A determined bid by the State Congress leaders from Telangana and Seemandhra region to convince the high command against the imposition of President’s rule in the State failed to cut ice.

The Congress party’s Central leadership appears to have looked into the pros and cons before turning down the demands made by delegations of Telangana and Seemandhra leaders that met them in New Delhi earlier this week.

Seemandhra former Ministers led by PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana made a futile bid to impress upon the high command the need to install a popular government. They wanted a new government to be put in place till the elections so that the party’s fortunes could be revived in Seemandhra region. Their Telangana counterparts too were for the continuation of a government instead of President’s rule. The State Congress leaders’ contention was that if a new government was installed, it would arrest the flight of party Ministers and MLAs to the proposed new political party of Kiran Kumar Reddy.

Concerned about defections

However, Congress sources maintained that the high command was concerned about the growing number of defections of Ministers and MLAs to the TDP and the YSR Congress. Over a dozen defections in the last two weeks had pushed the government into minority though the leadership claimed that it had majority. Top leaders obviously did not want to seek outside support, if the Governor asked the new government to take the floor test.

Adding to its woes was the hectic lobbying and keen interest shown by a number of aspirants for the Chief Minister’s post.

A section from the Seemandhra leadership brought to the fore the social engineering slogan and demanded that a leader from Kapu community be made the Chief Minister.

They had argued fiercely that traditional Congress vote bank comprising Dalits, minorities and Reddys had slowly drifted from the party. They went to the extent of impressing upon the high command that Kapus comprising 27 per cent of the population would stand behind the party if a Kapu got the chance.

Reacting to the decision, former Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy said there was no use of putting in place a government when the election notification was expected in the next four or five days.

Another former Minister, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, said the imposition of President’s rule was the ideal option.