Wednesday, November 26, 2008

YSR throws cold water on Telangana hopes

YSR throws cold water on Telangana hopes
HYDERABAD: Chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has gone into overdrive to put the Telangana votaries in their place. Few days after pro-Telangana leaders claimed that their dream was all set to be realised, the chief minister on Saturday got the Congress high command to make it clear that the separate state is nowhere on the horizon. AICC general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh M Veerappa Moily told the media in New Delhi on Saturday: "Where is the question of Telangana when their is no consensus on the issue?" Moily also made it clear that it was not possible to introduce a bill on Telangana in the ensuing session of Parliament.
According to sources, Rajasekhara Reddy had telephoned Moily and told him to deflate the pro-Telangana campaign that was stepped up by its advocates over the last few days. Thus when the media asked Moily on Saturday as to how much of truth was there in the claim of Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao that the Congress had taken a favourable decision on the separate statehood, the AICC general secretary said: "I am not aware of any such move. Why don't you ask KCR himself about it?."
The chief minister has also been rallying the Muslim community to oppose the division of the state. On Saturday, several Muslim leaders and religious heads of dargahs and khankhas issued a statement to the effect that the community is apprehensive about their future in a divided state. "They expressed their feelings that the welfare schemes initiated for the minorities can only be continued in united Andhra Pradesh as they are of huge magnitude and require enormous budget," the statement signed by Atteq Siddiqui on behalf of the leaders and religious heads, said.
Rajasekhara Reddy had earlier prevailed upon the MIM to say that division of the state would make the Muslims insecure and benefit only right-wing forces like the BJP. The chief minister has ensured that such a viewpoint reaches the ears of the Congress high command. "Last week, YSR had sent new APCC general secretary Abid Rasool Khan to New Delhi to convey the apprehensions of the Muslims over the creation of Telangana. He met Union ministers Pranab Mukherjee, Arjun Singh and AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi and conveyed the same," said a Congress leader.
Back in the state, the YSR camp has also taken steps to isolate the Telangana Congress leaders. According to sources, standing instructions have been given to the district administrations to ensure that no Telangana Congress leader is invited to any government functions. As a result, Telangana party leaders V Hanumantha Rao, G Venkatswamy and PCC chief D Srinvas were not invited to the foundation stone laying ceremony of Pranahita-Chevella project recently.
In fact, Srinivas is on record stating that this is no isolated incident. "Telangana Congress leaders are not being invited to any government function in the region," the PCC chief said. According to sources, thanks to YSR's intervention, the Congress high command will not deliberate on the Telangana issue till the outcome of the elections to five states is known.