Telangana overshadows extended Cong session

The efforts of Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Botsa Satyanarayana to present a picture perfect and united family in front of state-in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad fell flat as MPs and cadre from Telangana raised “Jai Telangana” slogans throughout the extended meeting of the Pradesh Congress Committee here on Sunday.

Despite repeated warnings by Botsa not to bring in regional issues at the extended meeting held at the Lal bahadur Stadium,  Ponnam Prabhakar, MP, demanded that the meeting should pay homage to the martyrs of Telangana by observing a two-minute silence. Botsa said the meeting could pay homage to martyrs of both regions. Ponnam and other Telangana MPs rejected Botsa’s suggestion.

There was uproar in the front rows when Botsa wanted the delegates to sit and observe two minutes of silence and Ponnam wanted everyone to stand and pay tributes to the departed souls in the Telangana agitation and also those who lost their lives in the recent Neelam induced rains.

“This is why we want Telangana, our martyrs have no respect. Telangana MPs and ministers here are not happy. We don’t even get our share in nominated posts like Coastal and Rayalaseema regions,” Ponnam said. He refused to let go of the mike.

Finally, Azad intervened and announced that everyone will observe two minutes of silence and urged the unruly Congress men to follow discipline and decorum. But the issue of Telangana was  again highlighted by senior leader V Hanumanth Rao in his own inimitable way.

“Why there is no photo of Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajnarsimha on the dais. You have roped in only those belonging to one particular region. The cadre is asking us why leaders from the region are neglected,” Rao said.

Fans of Union Minister Chiranjeevi also staged a dharna near the stadium protesting against not including his picture either on the dais or anywhere else.

Gathering behind the podium, fans of the superstar-turned-politician raised slogans even as Botsa Satyanarayana began his introductory remarks.

Advocates belonging to the region and Dalit activists of the Mala sect staged protests in front of the venue. A few also climbed on the light poles and shouted slogans against the Congress government.

The meeting however, passed resolutions supporting FDI in retail, direct cash transfer, and SC and ST sub plan.

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