The Congress can no longer sweep the problems of the party in Andhra Pradesh under the carpet. It has to tackle the Telangana issue and Jaganmohan Reddy before it is too late, senior Congress leaders have begun to think.
Or else, the desertion from the Congress camp to YSRC and TRS would begin and the tide would turn to a flood soon.
The shocking debacle of the party in the 18 Assembly seats and 1 Lok Sabha seat of the just-concluded by-elections has jerked many from somnolence. Minor irrigation minister TG Venkatesh, who is in Delhi to represent problems of Rayalaseema people, has been clear and vocal in his stance that the time had come for the party to take a stand. He agrees that the situation was complicated by the union minister P Chidambaram who, jumping the gun last year, declared formation of Telangana.
The Party in-charge of AP affairs took a diametrically opposite view soon after stating that a consensus was needed for it and played the Muslim card at the end. All these, like the proverbial too many cooks spoiling the broth, messed up the issue beyond recognition.
“The time has come for the Centre to take a final decision on the statehood issue,” said Venkatesh. And he hinted that his view is representative among many Congress leaders and ministers. Some are articulating it but some keep counsel to themselves. However, the feeling is strong. Similarly, former minister and a staunch critic of the CM, Shanker Rao is vocal in his demand that the high command must go in for an overhaul in the state leadership as it is unable to untangle many knots including the T-pot and Jagan mania.
“What really bothers is the question of Hyderabad,” said a senior minister sincerely but off the record. “Neither Andhra nor Telangana would be complete without Hyderabad. And T-state would starve if it does not get Hyderabad. But the City is unlikely to go for Telangana as it yearns for a global status where its identity would be on par with the best metros of the world. It would rather demand statehood.” Somewhat similar is the sentiments the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) President Asaduddin Owaisi too has expressed when he says people’s consent has to be obtained about the future of Hyderabad.
All, however, agree that time is running out. This was not the situation a year ago when negation ruled the Congress politics.