They were jubilant by knowing that it would be difficult for the Government of India to finalise draft cabinet note in the backdrop of Home Ministry’s hint that the draft cabinet note is ready with them to be presented in the cabinet meeting, scheduled to be held on Thursday and subsequently, the meeting was postponed to Friday.
Veerappa Moily is understood to make it clear that unless A K Antony committee report is ready and a consensus is arrived between leaders of two leaders, it will not be possible to present cabinet note in the meeting.
On Wednesday, the Union Ministers and Congress MPs from Seemandhra had meetings with Union Minister Veerappa Moily and Ahmed Patel, political advisor to Congress President Sonia Gandhi to prevail upon them to keep the process on hold.
Incidentally, both Moily and Patel are the members of the four-member AICC committee, headed by Defence Minister A K Antony, constituted to look into the concerns of the Seemandhra people on the Congress Working Committee’s decision to divide the state.
In the morning, the Congress MPs had a lengthy meeting with Moily and explained in detail the serious repercussions in the state if the Cabinet approved the Telangna note. “While the AP Non-Gazetted Officers have already declared that they would intensify the agitation, we, too, will have no option but to quit ours posts and the party to join the agitation. There is already public pressure on us to quit,” the Seemandhra MPs told Moily.
Apparently, Moily assured that the note on Telangana had not yet been finalized and it would be done only after the submission of report by the Antony Committee. He is learnt to have told them that the concerns and views expressed by the Seemandhra leaders would be incorporated in the Antony committee report.
In the evening, they had a meeting with Ahmed Patel and told him that they would have to take harsh decisions if the Home Ministry went ahead with submission of the Telangana note in the Union Cabinet on Friday.
And Patel, too, reportedly assured them that there would be no discussion on Telangana note in the Cabinet. Jubilant over the assurances given by Moily and Patel, the Seemandhra leaders claimed that they could successfully stall the Telangana process. “There is no Cabinet decision or Bill on Telangana in the near future. We have successfully stopped it for now,” Congress MP Ananta Venkata Rami Reddy told the media.
Ahmed Patel is said to have remarked that they cannot go back on Telangana issue as it could lead to agitation in T region. He said he would convey their feelings to Sonia Gandhi. Giving a clear picture to Patel about the ground situation in Seemandhra region, the Congress leaders wanted the process of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to stop forthwith.
In a related development, Congress MP sVundavalli Arun Kumar and Lagadapati Rajgopal called on President Pranab Mukherjee separately and urged him to interfere and stop the process of division of Andhra Pradesh. Moily is understood to have pointed out that the Antony Committee process had been delayed due to Antony’s indisposition of Antony. It is only after he recovers and comes back to duty that the process will move on.