P C Chacko said,Congress is for Telangana. It is only an issue of time. A decision has to be taken it has to have a constitutional basis. That (process ) has to be completed now.
This was Congresss most categorical pro-T statement since former home minister P Chidambarams announcement on December 9,2009 where he said that the Centre would soon initiate the process for creation of a separate state of Telangana. Although Chidambarams announcement was widely interpreted as a commitment to make Telangana a reality,government subsequently reversed itself,citing lack of political consensus.
P C Chacko
Cong waiting for right time to suit its ends
PC Chacko's comment tied in with indications that the Congress leadership has veered around to carving Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh and that the ongoing discussions on the tangled matter may just be about timing the decision to suit the political ends of Congress. According to sources,it only confirmed what the leadership may have decided informally. In fact,the party had appeared to be on the verge of announcing a decision favouring Telangana last week before it paused, essentially to have a closer look at the matter.
Congress is looking at two windows to announce statehood. It could either make public its stance in February or after the budget session of Parliament in April. Sources said the party has tied up loose ends and the only lingering concern is the repercussion that statehood could have on a sensitive pocket like Gorkhaland. Congresss new-found decisiveness on an issue it was wary of touching for the fear of political backlash springs from its desire to recover the ground it has lost in Andhra Pradesh,the state which played a crucial role in its consecutive wins in two Lok Sabha elections.The partys fortunes have been hurtling southwards since the death of its chief minister YSR in 2009.
The U-turn after the December 9,2009 commitment on Telangana turned the region against Congress with Telangana Rashtra Samithi leading the charge even as YSRs son Jaganmohan Reddys rebellion cornered the party in Seemandhra. Though Shinde steered clear of Chackos forthrightness, saying on Wednesday that consultations were on, it was only seen as a ploy to drag the issue till Congress agreed on the timing of the big splash.In an unambiguous statement,Chacko told reporters that Congress stand was wellknown and the consultation process led by the party and the home ministry was only to take care of formalities.The sudden Telangana tilt in the Congress camp,hitherto spoken of informally and with caveats,coincided with rising tempers in the volatile region that has paralysed Andhra Pradesh since the death of anti-statehood YSR.
|T BLOCKADE: Telangana activists block the convoy of IT minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah demanding his resignation over the separate statehood issue,on the Karkhana-Trimulgherry stretch in Hyderabad on Wednesday |