T-Congress leaders set deadline!

HYDERABAD: Upping the ante, leaders of Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Congress from Telangana Thursday said they would be forced to take a "tough decision" if the central leadership failed to make a favourable statement on statehood for the region by month-end.

The Telangana Steering Committee of the Congress sounded the warning to the leadership after a meeting here. At least three state ministers, including steering committee chief K. Jana Reddy, said they were ready to quit even if others didn’t do so.

One of them, K. Venkat Reddy, has already threatened to resign and launch an indefinite fast from Oct 2 if the central government failed to take a positive decision by then.

Legislator G. Venkatramna Reddy told reporters that the leaders decided to visit Delhi on Sep 26 to meet the central leadership. "The high command should immediately take a favourable decision, failing which we will be forced to take a hard decision," he said.

The steering committee also decided to take out a rally from the Telangana martyrs’ memorial to state secretariat here Friday to support the ongoing indefinite "people’s strike" in Telangana.

MPs, who submitted their resignations on the issue in July, warned that they would wait till month end. If the central government makes no announcement they would press for the acceptance of their resignations.

The leaders also targeted Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan for sending "misleading" reports to New Delhi on the Telangana issue. They alleged that it is because of such reports that the central leaders were not understanding the gravity of the problem.

Lok Sabha member M. Jagannatham condemned the statement of the party’s central leader and spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi that the strike in Telangana did not have any impact.

The MP said Singhvi had no knowledge of the situation in Telangana. "The employees are on strike, buses are off the roads, coal production has come to halt and the entire Telangana has come to a standstill. In such a situation, this statement is an insult to people of Telangana and to 600 youth who committed suicide for separate state," he said.

"If the strike is not having any impact why is the chief minister seeking electricity from other states," asked Congress legislator Mohan Reddy.(IANS)

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