Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cracks in Congress Over Telangana Burst Out in Open

Cracks in Congress Over Telangana Burst Out in Open
NEW DELHI/HYDERABAD - Regional differences in Andhra Pradesh Congress burst out in the open Dec. 15 when late state Chief Minister YSR’s son Jaganmohan Reddy joined Telugu Desam Party (TDP) protesters in Lok Sabha only to face demands for disciplinary action from party MPs from Telangana.

Incensed Congress MPs from Telangana region also demanded action party MP Vijayawada, who has resigned from the Lower House, and launched a “fast-unto-death” in his home town.

The fissures in the state party came to the forefront when Reddy, MP from Kadapa in Rayalaseema region of the state and son of former Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, rushed to the well in the Lower House to join TDP MPs who were protesting against the decision to carve out a separate state of Telangana. He borrowed a placard from a TDP member which said “We want united AP”.

Jagan was joined by some of his party colleagues from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra but his action incensed Congress MPs from Telangana, who immediately met Defense Minister A K Antony and demanded disciplinary action against him for joining the TDP protest.

“We do not not like the way Jaganmohan joined hands with the TDP. It is indiscipline. We have conveyed to Antony,” Sarvey Satyanarayana, Congress MP from Malkajgiri in Telangana told reporters after the meeting. Another MP Prabhakar echoed similar views.

Satyanarayana demanded action against both Reddy and Rajagopal for defying the party high command which has decided on Telangana.

Manda Jagannatgh, MP from Nagarkurnool area in the state, said the decision to create a separate state was taken by the party High Command and the action of Jaganmohan and others go against party President Sonia Gandhi.

Ponnam Prabhakar, Convener of the Andhra Pradesh Congress MPs, termed the action of the Congress MPs joining hands with TDP as “indiscipline” and called the agitation in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema as “stage managed”.

Under attack, Jaganmohan said he stood for a united AP and that he was forced to exhibit his support for a unified AP as he did not want TDP alone to take the credit.

He accused TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu of being the “real culprit” for the current situation in the state. “Had Chandrababu Naidu not said that he would support the resolution for bifurcation of the state the situation would not have risen to this level,” he said.

In state capital Hyderabad, non-Telangana Congress MLAs, who have resigned their membership of the Assembly, kept up pressure on the issue when they met Speaker Kiran Kumar Reddy and urged him to accept it. The Speaker, however, did not give an indication of what he plans to do with it.