Telangana Congress leaders may float new party

By Jinka Nagaraju

Caught between a party high command that appears to be indifferent to the separate state demand and complete political isolation in their region, Telangana Congress leaders are veering round to perhaps the only option open to them: Floating a sub-regional political outfit.

In a series of informal meetings over the past few weeks, during which the Congress high command moved from a stance of complete apathy to the suspension of 8 MPs from the Lok Sabha on the statehood issue, the Telangana Congress leaders have more or less concluded that steering an independent course by which they can up the ante on Telangana is the only way to ensure their political survival.

The T leaders are of the view that the decisive moment to part ways with the Congress has come. “While the bypolls to 18 assembly seats and one Lok Sabha constituency can be politically course changing for the state, the Congress high command appears to be preoccupied with the Presidential poll. The party’s silence after July will be taken as a clear ‘No’ to Telangana. Then, we will take the matter to the people not as Congressmen but as Telangana Congressmen,” said one MP.

A sense of urgency has crept in because majority of the Telangana Congress leaders feel that the bypoll results will see further erosion of the ruling party’s base in the state with an exodus of party leaders either to the YSR Congress or the TRS. “In such a situation, the only way to check the Congress is to form a new party that would unhesitatingly work towards the creation of the separate state,” said one leader.

Towards that end, the strategy of the Telangana Congress MPs is to immediately step up their campaign for the separate state and, in particular, increase the pressure on the Congress to come clear on the Telangana demand despite knowing well that it is disinclined towards it. The eight T Congress MPs, Madhu Yashki Goud, Manda Jagannatham, Gutha Sukhender Reddy, Ponnam Prabhakar, Sircilla Rajaiah, T Balaram Naik and G Vivenanada are to intensify their protest in Parliament.

“We will revive our protest in Parliament from Monday,” Nalgonda MP Sukhender Reddy said. The four-day suspension of the MPs for disrupting the Lower House ended last Friday. “The suspension has strengthened our resolve to intensify the agitation in Parliament,” said Karimnagar MP Ponnam Prabhakar.

The game plan, according to sources, is to invite further action from the Congress high command including suspension from the party itself. “After that, we will go to the people and make it clear to them that the Congress has no intention of giving Telangana and hence, we will have to form an independent pressure group of our own,” said a leader.

“If the sub-regional Telangana Congress party is floated by July end or August, it will give the leaders sufficient time before the 2014 elections to convince the electorate of their resolve to fight for Telangana,” he said. [TOI]

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