Congress remained a divided house in Telangana
Narendra Ch | 18 Mar 2014

Hopes of Congress high-command to sweep polls in Telangana region claiming credit to bring Telangana statehood seems to be shattered. The efforts of state Congress in charge and AICC General Secretary Digivjay Singh to bring unity among senior Congress leaders who were disappointed with new appointments in the newly constituted Pradesh Congress Committee for Telangana region. His three-days efforts by stationed in Hyderabad failed to move most of senior leaders, who were not seen in most of his programmes.

This has been giving impression that the Telangana Congress is not likely to fight the ensuing elections to Assembly and Lok Sabha as a single unit. The recent nominations to different posts including the PCC President have widened the differences among the top leaders. Union Minister for Science and Technology S Jaipal Reddy, the heavy Congress weight from the region was also conspicuous by his absence during Digvijay Singh’s visit. He played active role at the Center in Congress moving ahead with Telangana issue. But he felt let-down by the party for not considering him to lead the party in the newly forming state.

Former minister K Jana Reddy has already expressed dissent over denial of post of PCC chief with the Congress High Command. His visit to the national capital to meet AICC President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandhi coincided with AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh's visit to the city. He was not seen in any of the meeting conducted by Digvijay Singh with the Telangana Congress leaders. Jana Reddy is suspecting that former deputy chief minister Damodaram Rajanarasimha’s objections towards his candidature makes the party high-command to chose Ponnala Lakshmaiah as PCC chief.

Similarly, former minister Mohammad Ali Shabbir, who was named as Co-Chairman of Campaign Committee, looked inactive during Digvijay Singh's visit. He served as the incharge PCC Chief when Digvijay Singh visited the city last time as Botsa Satyanarayana was unwell. However, after being denied a top position in the recent nominations, his participation in programmes held by Digvijay Singh was limited. Other senior leaders including Rajya Sabha member V Hanumantha Rao and former PCC Chief D Srinivas kept themselves away from most of the programmes.

Former ministers Dr J Geetha Reddy and D K Aruna were also unable to digest new appointments. These two powerful Congress women leaders from Telangana region openly expressing displeasure that not a single women is given key position in new appointments by the AICC. Dr Geetha Reddy was earlier made hectic efforts to be the first Chief Minister of Telangana being the dalit and women leader with decades of experience.

Senior leaders including Jana Reddy, D Srinivas, Shabbir Ali, former speaker K Suresh Reddy and other MPs and legislators were either absent or kept themselves away from the limelight when Ponnala Lakshmaiah took charge as the first president of Telangana PCC on Saturday.

Digvijay Singh appears to have realized that Telangana Congress was a divided House. He also expressed the same feelings in a veiled manner after inaugurating “Indira Bhavan”, a new building for party headquarters for residuary state of Andhra Pradesh on the premises of Gandhi Bhavan. He stated that the Congress party was facing tough times post-bifurcation. He stressed the need for unity among Congress leaders and workers to ensure party's success in the forthcoming elections.