Hyderabad: On Friday, Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states and other AICC leaders seemed surprised when Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy urged AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi not to go ahead with the state bifurcation as it would spell disaster for the party in the upcoming general elections.
Reddy also informed the Congress vice-president that public attendance in the thanksgiving meetings that were being organised in Telangana to honour AICC president Sonia Gandhi were also poor. That, coupled with the Narendra Modi wave and the TRS stealing the Congress’ thunder regarding bifurcation, meant that the party could not be sure of securing maximum seats even in Telangana.
Gandhi had convened the party Chief Ministers’ meeting in New Delhi on Friday to ask them to give more impetus to the drive ag-ainst corruption, take up more pro-poor schemes, and to effecti-vely execute the welfare projects taken up by the UPA-II government.
He also wanted to know the ground-level political situations in the respective states, including possibilities of tie-ups with like-minded parties.
Reddy had exclusive talks with Gandhi on the sidelines of the meeting and urged him to reverse the Tela-ngana decision so that he could ensure a respectable number of seats for the Congress in the state upcoming polls.
T meet turnouts poor, says Kiran
Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy said that even the thanksgiving meetings organised by Telangana Congress leaders did not go off well in as the turnouts for the meetings had been poor.
He did not seek an appointment with Congress president Sonia Gandhi this time too. He has not met the party chief since July 12 meeting of the Congress Core Committee, when he had made his presentation for the united AP cause.
Sources said that when Mr Reddy’s turn came to speak in the meeting, he said that with the recent decision by the Centre to carve out Telangana, the political situation in the state had completely changed and there was no guarantee that the Congress would have a respectable showing in the coming elections owing to the bifurcation.
According to him, the Congress would not repeat its 2009 performance in Telangana (50 Assembly and 12 Lok Sabha seats), let alone the landslide win that the party high command was expecting for granting T state.
He reportedly observed that despite his repeated requests to keep the state united, the high command had acted in haste and decided to divide AP. He said that despite his government introducing several schemes, which had significantly decreased the anti-incumbency factor, the bifurcation decision had made matters worse.
He reported that TRS men were claiming credit for creation of Telangana.
He also reportedly informed that the Narendra Modi factor and TRS activists taking credit for the Telangana state were also impacting the Telangana voter.
Mr Reddy informed the leaders that there was widespread resentment in Seemandhra over the bifurcation decision, otherwise things would have been entirely different in the upcoming elections.
Regarding taking up pro-poor measures, particularly the food security scheme, Mr Reddy informed that the AP government had been supplying food grains at Rs 1 per kg. He also distributed a booklet containing various programmes and schemes in this regard.