Senior Congress leaders under attack for u-turn on Telangana

March 30th, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

Hyderabad, March 30 (IANS) The differences within Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Congress over the separate Telangana issue deepened Sunday with a section of the party men from the region targeting two senior leaders for virtually calling off their movement. A day after G. Venkatswamy and M. Satyanarayana Rao announced withdrawal from the activities for separate Telangana, other senior leaders took strong exception to their u-turn.

The two senior leaders, who were leading a movement for a Telanagna state the past few months and were targeting Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, changed their stance Saturday during a meeting of the party’s state unit, the first after D. Srinivas took over as party president.

Three members of the legislative council and other party leaders, who form part of the group of seniors, were angry over the remarks by Satyanarayana Rao that there were no seniors or juniors in the party and that they were putting an end to all their activities.

Council members P. Goverdhan Reddy, Indrasena Reddy and Kamlakar Rao said the remarks of the senior leaders would deal a blow to the Telangana movement and would discredit them among the people.

They voiced their view at a meeting of the group held at the residence of Venkatswamy, former union minister and the Congress’ deputy leader in the Lok Sabha.

According to party sources, the leaders took Satyanarayana to task.

The former state minister left the meeting in a huff.

The senior party leaders from the region had formed a separate group led by Venkatswamy to fight for a Telangana state. He with Satyanarayana was criticizing the chief minister, calling him a hurdle in the creation of separate state.

Venkatswamy, also a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), had even led a delegation to New Delhi and was sulking after not getting an opportunity to meet party president Sonia Gandhi.

Recently, he even took another senior leader and Telangana Development Board chairman Purshottam Reddy to task for unilaterally announcing cancellation of a public meeting to be held by the group in Bhongir.

At the ruling party’s meeting called to discuss the strategy for coming by-elections to four Lok Sabha and 16 assembly seats in the wake of en-mass resignations by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), they lavished praise on the chief minister for the “far reaching” developmental and welfare programmes undertaken in the last four years.

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