By: A SRINIVASA RAO
The predictions made by various pre-election surveys, including the latest one conducted by Headlines Today-CVoter, that the Congress is going to face a complete rout in Andhra Pradesh, particularly in the Telangana region, seem to have had little effect on the party high command.
The Headlines Today-CVoter survey predicted that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) would win 12 out of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in the Telangana region, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Majlise-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) would win one seat each.
Though it is not suggested which party will win the remaining three seats, going by field reports, they could be shared by YSR Congress Party, the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). The survey report has confirmed the apprehensions of the Telangana Congress leaders who have been cautioning the high command that the party would be wiped out from the region if it did not take a positive decision on the Telangana statehood demand.
The MPs did all they could do to bring pressure on the high command – including stalling Parliament proceedings and boycotting House sessions. But the Congress brass continued to dodge the contentious issue on the pretext of holding consultations with the stakeholders.
Party leaders from Telangana could do little despite knowing that the high command had shelved the Telangana issue. They could not register their protest even as an RTI petition disclosed that the all-party meeting held by Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on December 28, 2012, supposedly to find a solution to the Telangana issue, was nothing but a hoax as there were no minutes of the meeting with the ministry.
As if rubbing salt on their wounds, AICC spokesman and senior leader P.C. Chacko announced that Telangana was not part of the Congress’s national agenda. This was like the last nail in the Congress party’s coffin in the Telangana region.
Within a day of Chacko’s statement, three of the Telangana Congress MPs – G. Vivekanand from Peddapalli, S. Rajaiah from Warangal and M. Jagannatham from Nagarkurnool – along with former state Congress president K. Kesava Rao, rushed to the farmhouse of TRS president K. Chandrasekhara Rao in Medak district and expressed their desire to join the TRS.
“We want the party high command to put an end to this drama being enacted in the name of consultations and make a clear announcement before May 30. If there is no clarity from the high command, the Congress will not survive in the region and it will not win even a single seat. We will wait till May 30 and if there is no positive announcement by then, we will quit the party and join the mainstream of the Telangana movement,” a Congress MP from the region said.