Telangana: YSR Cong, TDP wait and watch

Chandrababu Naidu
The all-party meet on Telangana scheduled in Delhi on December 28 has put political parties in a quandary. Except for TRS and BJP, other parties are squirming as they will be forced to declare their stand on the separate state issue.

TDP, YSR Congress Party and state Congress leaders are under tremendous pressure to state their stance before going to attend the all-party meet.

TDP and YSRCP are especially under pressure because their leaders are currently touring Telangana. TDP's N Chandrababu Naidu, who is marching on foot across the state, is currently in Karimnagar and constantly faces questions from people of Telangana about his stand on a separate state. Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy's sister Y S Sharmila, who is also on a 'padayatra', but is currently taking rest following a surgery, is also under pressure to declare the party's stand. These parties are for a united Andhra Pradesh although both have been changing postures depending on the situation.

"I have always maintained that we respect the sentiments of Telangana people. If we tilt towards Telangana, the party will face problems in other regions, if we do not we will face problems in Telangana. But we will never hurt the sentiments of Telangana people. The Congress which is at the Centre should make its stand clear first," Naidu said on Monday.

By putting the onus on the Congress to make its stand clear, the TDP is maintaining a fragile peace within the party which is torn between supporting Telangana movement and protecting its interests in other regions.

Even though he is walking 10-12 km everyday, Naidu takes breaks to meet senior TDP leaders. "We cannot antagonise leaders and party supporters in any region. We have to protect the party everywhere," TDP leader T Devender Goud, who is likely to attend the all-party meeting, said. Although, Naidu's entry into Telangana did not provoke as much opposition from TRS and BJP as was expected, he and his party leaders have started facing pointed questions from the public during their interactions, especially after the Centre called for the all-party meeting.

With Jagan in jail, his party is on the backfoot over the issue. His sister, who started a 'padayatra' in October, was received well in Telangana but faced protests from pro-Telangana activists who demanded to know the YSRCP's position on Telangana. While Sharmila and her mother Y S Vijayalakshmi maintained a stoic silence, former minister Konda Surekha of YSRCP said that the party is yet to decide its stand.

TRS has demanded that TDP and YSRCP should state their stand. "The TDP and YSRCP are taking Telangana people for a ride. They claim to honour our wishes but do not support separate state cause. Everything they say is a sham,'' TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao said.

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