Hyderabad, December 31: If the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is not enthused by the Delhi invite, the development has surely thrown the Telugu Desam Party into a tizzy and has Congress leaders, particulary those from Telangana, in raptures.
A relieved Chief Minister K Rosaiah said he would be attending the meeting on behalf of the State and observed that the Centre’s move proved that it was committed to finding a solution to any problem through democratic means.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising the TRS, TDP and the Congress, went into a huddle and later came out with a cautious statement. It merely said it had taken note of the invite and wanted political parties attending the New Delhi conclave to voice the ‘‘desire of the people for a separate State.’’ But it has deferred its decision to bring pressure on Assembly Speaker N Kiran Kumar Reddy to accept resignations of the Telangana MLAs.
After the JAC meeting, TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao said: ‘‘We are neither optimistic nor pessimistic. We will see how discusions go and then, react. In any case, we will build a strong case for Telangana.’’ However, more than any other party, it is the TDP, which finds itself in an unenviable position. No one would envy its chief N Chandrababu Naidu as he or whoever he deputes for the meeting would be expected to take a stand on the issue which, given the differing stands his partymen from Telangana and Andhra regions have taken, appears next to impossible.
As soon as news trickled in that the Centre was inviting political parties for talks, Naidu held talks with party leaders from Telangana and Andhra regions to find a way out of the mess.
The party has reached a stage where its leaders from Telangana and Andhra are sticking to their guns. It appears even Naidu himself does not know whether to support Telangana or a united Andhra.
In fact, the party does not have a line and to wriggle out of the mess it finds itself in, it is trying to throw the blame on the Congress.
The statements of its leaders indicate the confusion. Party senior leader N Janardhan Reddy (Telangana), who has joined the JAC, said unless the Congress spelt out its stand on Telangana, his party would not make any statement.
Another leader of the party Yerran Naidu (north Andhra) found fault with the invitation.
‘‘Had the Centre invited parties for talks without mentioning Telangana, it would have been appropriate,’’ he said. TDP leader from Rayalaseema Payyavula Keshav alleged that there was no sincerity in the invitation since the Congress, to him, appeared keen on exposing parties divided on the Telangana issue and thus derive political mileage out of it.
He further said leaders of his party from all the regions should be present at the meeting. He does not seem to understand that by doing so, they would make the party vulnerable to criticism that it does not have a stand.
Though it was thought that the Congress too would be facing a similar problem, it seems that most of its Andhra leaders have fallen in line. Rajahmundry MP Undavalli Arunkumar said, ‘‘The invitation for talks is a continuation of the Centre’s promise to deliver Telangana. All along we had been insisting on talks, and that is what is happening now.’’ Though the Congress leaders speak in different voices, the party has the ability to persuade them to accept its final decision, he asserted. Union Minsiter Sai Pratab and Eluru MP KS Rao echoed the same views.
Their statements show that the party is more or less successful in taming its recalcitrant Andhra leaders who had been crying hoarse that the State should remain united.
Senior Congress leader Palvai Govardhan Reddy (Telangana) was emphatic that even Andhra leaders would support the Telangana demand once the party made its stand clear. For this to happen, he suggested that the Congress Central leadership hold talks ahead of January 5 meeting and announce its stand. For other parties, there is no such problem. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the CPI are clear from the beginning- they want Telangana. The Praja Rajayam wants the State to remain united as do the MIM and the CPM. They will have no problem putting forth their proposals at the meeting. The odd man out, so to speak, would surely be the TDP.