Loyalties divide AP parties

Both the ruling Congress and the main Opposition, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), seemed to face a vertical split on regional lines, as arguments on the lines of “Andhra versus Telangana” have sharpened differences.

While Congress leaders from Telangana questioned Chief Minister K Rosaiah for acting as the “CM of Andhra” rather than the entire state, coastal Andhra and Telangana TDP leaders voiced differing views.

Senior TDP leader Kodela Sivaprasad said a joint action committee would be launched, besides taking up fresh agitation for a united AP. The Telangana TDP leaders demanded that all MLAs of the region resign to press for a separate statehood.

The TDP, however, said it was yet to take a decision whether to attend the meeting scheduled for January 5. TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu is reported to be “weighing all options” on the party’s stand on Telangana statehood.

The split in the state Congress was all too evident with senior Telangana leaders targeting Chief Minister K Rosaiah for his “propaganda” against Telangana. Taking exception to Rosaiah’s press conferences in which he said investors were leaving Hyderabad due to the current agitation, senior leader and former IT minister K Venkat Reddy said the chief minister was behaving as if he was the “CM of Andhra”. He asserted that so far not a single IT company or industry had left the state.

Minister from the coastal Andhra region, Gade Venkat Reddy, alleged that the current crisis was the result of a “conspiracy” hatched by party leaders from Telangana. “The Congress in AP is a divided house... even the hunger strike of K Chandrashekar Rao was part of this conspiracy,” he said.

Reddy demanded that an independent state level committee be set up to study the issue.

Meanwhile, Union Home minister Chidambaram on Friday asserted that the Centre neither acted in haste nor delayed a decision on the demand for a separate Telangana. The UPA government is taking all steps to evolve a political consensus to resolve the tangle, he told reporters in Chennai.

“We can only again make all efforts to help create a consensus on this issue”, after all the political parties in Andhra Pradesh were suddenly divided on carving out a separate Telangana, he said.

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