Hyderabad: Telangana Congress leaders began to proceed to New Delhi on Wednesday but quite many of them expressed apprehensions that the meetings with high command leaders will aim to silence them on the issue of the separate state movement.
“By agreeing to attend the meeting convened by AICC general secretary Gulam Nabi Azad, we could be walking into a trap laid by the AICC to silence us,” said one MP who put off his visit to the national capital to Thursday morning. In fact, Congress sources said the aim of the party leadership now is to silence the T movement. “At this juncture, the responsibility of the Congress high command is to silence the agitating party leaders from all the regions, especially from Telangana,” the sources added. In the past two days, according to the sources, this has been amply conveyed been to the Seemandhra leaders by every AICC dignitary they called on in New Delhi.
“When the Seemandhra leaders met the central leadership such as the Prime Minister, home minister, finance minister, defence minister apart from Azad, they were counseled only one thing — ‘be patient and not resort to any violent means to express’ their views,” the sources said.
While the Mumbai blasts brought the national security issue to the fore again, the confrontation between the regional leaders within the Congress in Andhra Pradesh is giving a new lease of life to the opposition forces, especially the TDP, is the thinking in New Delhi, the sources said. “The high command is disturbed by this trend and the activities of the Congress, whether it is for Telangana or otherwise, as it is lending breathing space to the TDP,” said the sources.
Instead of bifurcation of the state, according to the sources, the Centre is ready to give an unprecedented financial package to Telangana and other backward areas of the state and keeping the option of Telangana state open till a consensus is arrived on the issue.
But in public, the Telangana Congress leaders continued to be firm and defiant. Rajya Sabha member and leader of the T-Congress team K Keshava Rao said no power would silence the Telangana leaders now. “We will firmly put forth our demand before Azad. We are attending the meeting only to discuss the formation of Telangana. No other bargain will be there,” Rao told TOI.
Any attempt to silence us would lead to severe consequences, Bhongir MP Komati Reddy Rajagopal Reddy warned. “If there is no movement forward in the direction of Telangana state, all the 13 MPs from Telangana will resign from Parliament on the first day of the monsoon session,” Rajagopal Reddy said. Similar sentiments were expressed by other MPs such as Madhu Yaski Goud and Manda Jagannatham. “We have reached a point of no return on the Telangana issue. We cannot go back now,” they said. TOI