With the Congress' promise to make an announcement on statehood issue before the end of September approaching fast, Ministers from the Telangana region have decided to directly confront the leadership next week with a plea to expedite a decision.
At a more than two-hour long meeting at the residence of Major Irrigation Minister P. Sudarshan Reddy attended by nine Ministers, party high command's silence on the issue despite the general strike assuming serious proportions drew criticism. They dashed off a letter explaining the grim political situation in the region with a warning that it would take a serious turn if a decision was not announced immediately. Ministers reportedly expressed doubts whether a decision would come before the month-end as the AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee were out of the country and expected to return only after September 25. They have sought an appointment with the senior leaders on September 26 or after that to give them a factual picture about the prevailing situation.
Minister for Panchayat Raj K. Jana Reddy is said to have remarked that if the high command says a positive decision on Telangana would be announced within two, three or six months, they were willing to convince the agitating staff to call off their strike.
Earlier in the day, Minister for Infrastructure Komatireddy Venkat Reddy at a meet the press programme organised by the Telangana Electronic Media Journalists Association (TEMJA) said if no decision came by September end, he would tender his resignation to the Minister's post as well as the MLA seat and launch a fast unto death from October 2 in Nalgonda.
He accused Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy of misleading the Centre and said if the Congress high command said that it would not concede Telangana, he would quit the ruling party.