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Jairam Ramesh, the lone Congress leader who is attempting to save the party in Seemandhra and Telangana
After the Parliament gave its nod to the Telangana Bill bifurcating state of Andhra Pradesh, the Congress high-command is locked in an unexpected adverse situation in both the regions of the state Telangana and Seemandhra. The move was originally intended to sweep the Telangana region by providing statehood to the region and get sympathetic support from Seemandhra people by providing 'special status' to the region.

In Telangana region, it expected that the sub-regional party Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) would keep up its promise by merging itself with the Congress once the Telangana Bill is passed. TRS Chief K Chabdrashekhar Rao had also given enough hints towards the merger during his interactions with the party higher-ups like Sonia Gandhi, Digvijay Singh and Ahmed Patel, in New Delhi.

However, after returning back to Hyderabad he showed that the entire party cadre was against the idea of merger and announced that TRS will continue as a political party. Even he was non-committal on forging alliance with Congress, though he managed to keep the hopes alive among the Congressmen by constituting a five-member committee to deal with alliance proposals.

The State Congress in-charge Digvijay Singh remained in Delhi. Except expressing hopes for the alliance through media, stating that TRS Secretary General Dr K Keshava Rao is in touch with the Congress leaders, he did not take any other initiative in this regard.

On the other hand, in Seemandhra region with the former Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy deserting the party and moving to float his own regional out-fit and several former ministers and legislators are joining Telugu Desam Party, Congress party is being washed away. The party leadership is unable to face the anger generated among the people against the Congress for moving ahead with bifurcation.

Union ministers and other senior Congress leaders are confining to media exposures and doing nothing to initiate any dialogue with people of both the regions to assure people that the Congress will keep up their interests. This has been worrying Congress leadership that even after getting nod for the Telangana Bill by taking hard risks, the party failed to gain any political benefit in both the regions.

At this juncture, union minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh, elected to Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh and who had played key-role in drafting Telangana Bill, despite hailing from neighboring Karnataka, is seen as the only Congress leader who is taking lot of pains by moving in all the major cities in the state.

Last week he started his journey from Tirupati after offering prayers to Lord Venkateswara, then directly reached to Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad where he addressed a media conference where he attempted assure people of both the regions.

Ramesh's aggressive attitude towards TRS gave courage to many Congress leaders in the region, who came forward to speak against the alliance with TRS and showering confidence that Congress can win on its own and form the next government in newly formed Telangana state.

In the Seemandhra region, he visited major cities like Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Guntur, and attended locally arranged programmes and tried his best to claim that it was Congress's initiative that helped in providing 'special status' to the region. Such a status was so far provided only in hilly states and Andhra Pradesh will be the first state from the plain areas.

In Telangana region also, he visited Warangal and Karimnagar, the nerve centers for Telangana agitations and assured the people that the Congress only can meet their aspirations in the new state. In a move to corner TRS for going-back on its age-old promise that the first Chief Minister of the new state will be from dalit community, Jairam Ramesh indicated that a Dalit will only be made the Chief Minister of Telangana, if they attain the power in looming general elections.

He also attempted to woo voters by promising that the Congress will provide national project status to 'Chevella Pranahitha' irrigation project. It is yet to be seen how far his unilateral mission goes in bringing favors to the Congress in Andhra Pradesh.

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