HYDERABAD: Caught literally between the devil and the deep sea, Congress legislators from Telangana are now desperately searching for an ‘escape route’ from their misadventure against the high command.
On one hand the Telangana Congress leaders have become the subject of ridicule to their own party colleagues from Andhra-Rayalaseema regions and, on the other, they are under immense pressure from the high command to fall in line and put an end to the ongoing drama over the statehood demand.
Also, with their proposed 48-hour hunger-strike ending in just about 33 hours without any impact, the Telangana Congress leaders are all at sea.
At least the ministers and the MLAs, who put in their papers on July 4 along with the MPs and the MLCs demanding creation of Telangana state, are said to be keen on withdrawing their resignations but are unable to do so fearing wrath of the people, sources said.
The ministers and the MLAs, who have been holding talks with the Chief Minister, Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy and the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Botsa Satyanarayana in turns, have explained their predicament and pleaded with the two leaders to get at least a statement issued by the high command in favour of Telangana.
“This (statement) will pull us out of the mess and enable withdrawal of resignations. Otherwise, it will be totally damaging for us as well as the party,” a senior minister remarked, after a fresh round of meeting with the Chief Minister last night.
While the PCC chief assured the agitated Telangana leaders that he would take up the issue with the high command, the Chief Minister was not forthcoming with any promise, the minister added.
The other day, when the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president, Ms Rita Bahuguna Joshi landed in Hyderabad on a private visit, the Panchayat Raj Minister, Mr Jana Reddy managed to take her to his residence for lunch along with the Rajya Sabha member, Mr K Keshava Rao and begged her to take up their case personally with Sonia Gandhi and see that “some statement” is issued on the statehood issue.
But they were left disappointed as Ms Bahuguna did not commit anything on the issue. Congress leaders from Andhra-Rayalaseema are enjoying their Telangana colleagues’ predicament.
“They ignored our advise (on the resignations) and blindly fell into the Telangana Rashtra Samiti president, Mr K Chandrasekhar Rao’s trap. Eventually, they achieved nothing,” the Andhra-Rayalaseema leaders point out.
Interestingly, there is internal rift among Telangana Congress leaders for the same reason. Majority of ministers and legislators are holding a senior minister and at least four MPs responsible for the current imbroglio and blaming them for taking a “unilateral” decision on resignations.
“There is now no way forward or backward for us. We have run out of options and the only way out is an announcement from the Centre on Telangana. That’s not happening and we are left in the lurch,” a senior Telangana minister lamented.
The Telangana Congress leaders will meet tomorrow in their continued search for the escape route.