Congress high command hints at Assembly vote on Telangana issue

The Congress high command appears to be making cautious moves in the Telangana issue, with an aim to retain its electoral advantage in the regions of Andhra Pradesh.

Digvijaya Singh, during his visit here as Congress general secretary in charge of the state, gave ample indications that the Telangana issue will be put to the vote in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly with the caveat that the resolution will not be binding on the United Progressive Alliance government’s decision on the troublesome issue.

State Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy was doggedly opposed to allow a resolution on the issue in the Assembly, even as the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) stalled proceedings in the recently concluded session.

However, the party high command seems to be having a change of mind on the issue, wanting to see which way the vote would go.

The high command is aware that members from the Seemandhra region, who dominate the Assembly, will defeat the resolution if they vote collectively, which will also end any attempt by the TRS to gain political advantage by pressing the issue.

Though the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress have indicated that they are not opposed to Telangana formation, the resolution may put them in a quandary as the parties will be forced to declare their positions.

If opposition parties are to vote against the resolution, the Congress may use it to portray them as anti-Telangana. Concluding his visit, Singh has allowed leaders from both Coastal and Rayalaseema to organise separate public meetings in Vijayawada and Anantapur, raising suspicions among Congress cadre that the current move is a game plan for the forthcoming
panchayat elections.

“The Congress is playing this game as the panchayat elections are nearing and Congress functionaries are afraid to enter villages in Telangana without announcing party’s stand on the issue,” TRS legislator Harish Rao observed.

Andhra Pradesh has been an important factor in Congress’s political equation.   

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