Cong bosses to discuss Telangana issue today

Cong bosses to discuss Telangana issue today

A cornered Congress will look forward to retrieve at least half the lost ground in Andhra Pradesh when its top leadership deliberates the Telangana issue on Friday.

With Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress making rapid inroads into the state, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior cabinet members will attend presentations made by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Raja Narasimha and state unit chief Botsa Satyanarayana on ramifications of forming a separate Telangana state.

AICC general secretary and Andhra Pradesh in-charge Digvijay Singh and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi are expected to attend the core group meeting.

Reddy has been asked to make a presentation on the effects of a separate Telangana state on the Rayalseema region. Narasimha has been asked to prepare a presentation on the impact on the Telangana region.

Satyanarayana will present his assessment of the coastal Andhra region.

“I have asked the chief minister, PCC chief and the deputy chief minister to prepare a road-map of political strategy leading to the 2014 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections keeping both options open,” Singh told PTI in an interview.

Singh had an interaction with leaders from the state. He has submitted his report on the Telangana issue to the Congress president.

Congress leaders said any decision or announcement on the issue is unlikely on Friday.
A section of the party leadership expects the YSR Congress to perform better in the Rayalseema and the coastal Andhra regions in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

A leader from Telangana said the party can surely win six of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in the region and put up a fight in three others.

The challenge before the Congress is to ensure that it gets maximum political mileage in case of a separate Telangana state. It is therefore trying to engage the Telangana Joint Action Committee, an amalgam of social groups favouring a separate state, in a bid to shift the focus from the Telangana Rashtra Samiti.

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