Congress MPs and MLAs from Telangana have threatened to resign by July and sit on fast-unto-death to pressure the party leadership, which is undecided on granting statehood to the region. The legislators have framed a five-point action plan to pressure the high command.
Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee had bought time till the end of the Assembly elections. With the election process over, the legislators plan to meet senior party leaders on June 6. They have sought appointments with Congress President Sonia Gandhi , Prime Minister Manmohan Singh , Home Minister P Chidambaram and General Secretary in-charge of the state Ghulam Nabi Azad. The MPs would impress on the leaders that the Congress high command would have to take a call on the issue soon to prevent public sentiments from boiling over.
The representatives would then go back to their constituencies and hold public meetings to gauge the people’s mood on Telangana statehood. “The public sentiment in the region is for a separate state. No public representative can enter his constituency without police protection. Even a senior minister like Jaipal Reddy was greeted with eggs and slippers when he went to his constituency.
The Home Minister is mistakenly thinking that by delaying the decision the movement will fizzle out. He thinks there is peace in Andhra. We have to respect people’s sentiments. We have to sit on fast-unto-death in June to echo the feelings,” said Congress MP Madhu Goud Yaskhi.
The MPs will shift their agitation to Delhi when the Monsoon Session of Parliament begins in mid-July. “If the party high command still does not take a call, we will return to the capital and begin our protest in Parliament,” said another MP.
So far, Congress MPs have not joined the stir call given by Telangana Joint Action Committee , the umbrella organisation comprising representatives of all political parties supporting formation of a separate state. However, with the committee pressuring Congress and TDP to join the stir or face “public boycott”, Congress MPs will have to take a call.
The MPs have decided that if the Government does not grant statehood to the region, they would be forced to resign and join the public movement. Congress has 12 MPs and 56 MLAs from the region. At the party level, the MLAs have already started demanding a separate state Congress unit for Telangana.
Echoing similar sentiments, Congress MP Ponnam Prabhakar said, “people and party are vertically divided in Andhra Pradesh on regional lines. There is an urgent need to set up a separate Pradesh Congress Committee for Telangana region.” Economic Times