Hyderabad: In a clear indication that he is eyeing a berth in a future Union Cabinet expansion, Rajya Sabha Member V Hanumantha Rao on Sunday tried to project himself as the tallest Congress leader from Telangana, by criticizing Union Minister for Petroleum S Jaipal Reddy’s statement on regionalism and sub-regionalism.
Mr Hanumantha Rao criticism before media persons at his Amberpet residence today is seen as an indication that he firmly believes that a berth in the Union Cabinet will be given to the party leaders who champion the cause of Telangana.
Advising Mr Jaipal Reddy not to make contradictory comments on Telangana issue and provoke the people of region, Mr Hanumantha Rao stated that the Union Minister’s comments does suit to his position and asked him to standby by the December 9, 2009 statement of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.
“If Mr Jaipal Reddy stands by Mr Chidambaram’s statement, the people of Telangana will bless him,” he stated.
According to sources in the Congress party, the next expansion of the Union Cabinet will see pro-Telangana leaders, besides Praja Rajyam Party president K Chiranjeevi, being inducted.
The Centre is said to be keen on mollifying the pro-Telangana Congress leaders by giving them important posts and hence the chances of their being inducted in the Union Cabinet are very high, the sources say.
Besides Mr Jaipal Reddy’s words, Mr Hanumantha Rao also focused his energies on the Srikrishna Committee Report, saying, “The Centre must disclose the contents in the eighth chapter of the Report.
“The Report is against the sentiments of people of Telangana and is opposed to formation of separate state. The people have a right to know,” he stated.
The Report is generally believed to be an advisory to the Centre on how to control the separate statehood issue by ‘managing political leaders and media’.
The senior leader also denied that he has any differences with newly appointed Pradesh Congress Committee president Botsa Satyanarayana on any policy matters.
“I did not attend the function to mark Mr Satyanarayana’s taking charge as the PCC chief as I was busy with some prior engagements,” he said.
Mr Hanumantha Rao further advised Telangana Political Joint Action Committee convenor Kodandaram to stop working as mouthpiece of Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao.
“KCR will have no role to play once the separate Telangana state is formed,” he stated.
Describing the deadline of June 25 set by the TPJAC as ‘meaningless,’ the Rajya Sabha Member said that no one from the Congress is afraid of such deadlines. “Stop provoking people on the statehood issue,” he told Prof Kodandaram curtly.
Mr Hanumantha Rao also took serious objection over the TRS activists obstructing TDP’s `Ranabheri’ in Tandur.
He also disclosed that Congress leaders from Telangana will meet Core Committee member Pranab Mukherjee on June 15 and announce their future course of action.(INN)