Refuse to attend Assembly session; stage dharna at Gandhi statue
Eighteen Congress MLAs from Telangana region staged a dharna at the Gandhi statue in the Assembly premises demanding that the Centre introduce a Bill on separate State in the Parliament during the ongoing budget session.
The MLAs, who have been boycotting the Assembly went in a procession from the Congress Legislature Party office to the Gandhi Statue and raised slogans. They later held a meeting in CLP where Ministers -- J. Geetha Reddy and Basavaraj Saraiah - -appealed to them to end their boycott of the Assembly.
The two Ministers took the initiative at the instance of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy. Turning down the appeal, the MLAs reportedly told the Ministers that there was no change in their decision till March 12. They asked the Ministers to meet the central leadership first.
Ministers for Delhi
The Ministers are likely to leave for New Delhi on March 11 and meet party president Sonia Gandhi and other leaders the following day. The Congress MLAs during the meeting are understood to have expressed solidarity with the ‘million march' on Thursday.
APCC president D. Srinivas also met some Telangana Congress MLAs and advised them against participating in the march.
He urged them to be present in the Assembly for the Council elections on March 17. He later indicated to reporters that a whip would be issued to this effect to the Congress MLAs.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has chalked out a strategy to ensure that the Congress and its allies, MIM and Praja Rajyam, poll the necessary votes in the Council elections to be declared elected. Sources said a chunk of the Telangana Congress MLAs votes are likely to be allotted to the MIM candidate while the MLAs said to be close to former MP Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy would be asked to vote in favour of Mohd.Jani or Sudhakar Babu.