By: JR Prasad
AICC State affairs incharge Digvijaya Singh on Friday made it clear to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy either to fall in line and help bifurcate the State or be ready to exit gracefully. The warning came at the much-awaited State Congress coordination committee meeting in New Delhi.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked Kiran Reddy, Rajanarasimha and Botcha to make themselves available at the PMO this morning at 10.30 a.m. in order to have a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ostensibly to discuss cyclone relief for the State.
Sources said Singh minced no words after Kiran — despite counselling by the senior Congress leader to soften his stance prior to the meeting — stuck to his by now familiar rhetoric against State division. Singh reportedly told him if he continued to defy the party line, the party leadership would have to pick another leader in his place.
Apparently taken aback, Kiran, sources said, told him of his abiding loyalty to the party. After the meeting, the Chief Minister met Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and later, dropped hints that he would soften his stance and abide by the T decision.
AICC State affairs incharge Digvijaya Singh on Friday did not rule out the possibility of Rayala-Telangana State. Replying to queries, he said, “All such issues are within the purview of the Group of Ministers.” He also said the T bill may be sent to the Assembly in last week of this month.
At the almost two-hour long coordination panel meeting, however, Kiran, the sources said, reiterated that the Congress would be wiped out of Seemandhra without a trace post-division and warned of water wars between Telangana and the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh. Kiran’s deputy C Damodara Rajanarasimha reportedly interjected and accused him of acting like the Chief Minister of one region with “ulterior political motives.” A heated argument ensued between the two for a while during which Digvijaya Singh remained a mute spectator. Surprisingly, even PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana, who was also present, remained silent but Union Minister K Chiranjeevi, another member of the panel, came to Kiran’s rescue, the sources said.
Legislative Affairs Minister D Sridhar Babu has been summoned to Delhi. Sources said as the Cong high command is trying to split the PCC into Andhra and Telangana PCCs, it is considering him for the TPCC chief’s job. It may also discuss with him modalities of tabling T bill in Assembly.
Almost joining chorus with Kiran, Chiranjeevi urged Singh to suspend the T process until all apprehensions of Seemandhra were addressed. “Making Hyderabad a Union Territory is the only way to appease the people of Seemandhra to some extent,” he was quoted as saying. Rajanarasimha, on his part, sought to refute his arguments, asserting that Seemandhra people won’t have any security issues in Hyderabad.
Not giving much importance to the arguments of Kiran and Chiranjeevi, Singh is learnt to have told them they had to abide by the party’s T-decision. Prior to the meeting, he held separate meetings with Kiran and Botcha first and with Rajanarasimha and Chiranjeevi later. Earlier, speaking to reporters, Singh said deciding the fate of the Chief Minister was not on the agenda of the meeting. He ruled out the possibility of a change of guard in the State, saying the Chief Minister had promised to abide by the T-decision.
“Kiran Reddy is a loyal Congressman. He will abide by the decision of the Congress Working Committee. Not only Kiran, but also his father was loyal to Congress. The whole family is loyal to the party,” he said and added Kiran Reddy was convinced by the T-decision.
Courtesy: The New Indian Express