Late Monday night, UPA chairperson and Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi, in a bid to find a solution to the Telangana State demand, heard views of all those senior party functionaries, who were drafted to negotiate with representatives of the three regions in the State.
Those who attended the meeting include Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and his predecessor and present Finance Minister P Chidambaram, besides AICC general secretary in-charge of AP affairs Ghulam Nabi Azad and Vayalar Ravi. All these leaders apparently apprised the leadership of this contentious issue. Vayalar Ravi, who held confabulations with TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao had also apprised the party chief of the ‘threats being held out’ and possible turn of events in the State, especially the Telangana Political JAC’s proposed ‘Chalo Hyderabad” which may lead to law and order problems.
“Lack of consensus on the issue and stiff opposition from the other two regions was also brought to the notice of Sonia Gandhi by Chidambaram”, highly placed sources told the NSS. It is no secret that the Congress would not like to jeopardise its chances in the other two regions, where their stakes are quite high. As against 10 Parliament and 119 Assembly seats in Telangana, the Rayalaseema and Andhra regions sent as many as 30 MPs and 160-170 MLAs. Azad also expressed these fears to the party supremo and any decision taken should be to the satisfaction of all the three regions.
Meanwhile, the stand of All-India Muslim-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) was brought to the notice of Sonia Gandhi. It is no secret that the AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, while addressing his party rally in one of the T-districts recently, made it clear that his party was opposed to separate Telangana demand of the TRS. Instead, he wanted either Rayala-Telangana, which includes some of the Rayalaseema districts, or Hyderabad may be made a separate State.
Amidst the confusion, Sonia Gandhi decided to call a meeting of UPA-II partners at an early date to mobilize consensus followed by an all-party meeting. In other words, the TRS and its chief K Chandrasekhara Rao, who had promised to get a firm assurance for T-statehood from none other than Sonia Gandhi, may have to wait for some more time.
Back in the State, one may have to wait and see how the TJAC and other groups, which had called for September 30 ‘Hyderabad March” or “Chalo Hyderabad” would go further. While all this was happening, as many as 15 ministers belonging to Telangana region in the Kiran Kumar Reddy Cabinet have also dashed off a letter appealing to the party chief Sonia Gandhi to realize the fact that there was no other option left before the party high command than joining the ‘chorus’ for separate statehood.
As a precautionary measure, it is learnt the Union Home Minister was advised by Sonia to keep a close watch on the developments in Hyderabad and extend all possible assistance to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order in the State on September 30. Additional Central forces, if required, may be sent to the State capital and other sensitive districts in the region. (NSS)