HYDERABAD (TIP): The Congress bosses are on the horns of a dilemma: They can’t decide whether to ask the state government to sponsor and get a resolution passed in favour of Telangana in the state assembly. The thinking is that although Kiran Reddy has been assuaged and been convinced to stay, his ability to ensure safe passage of the resolution in the House is in doubt. Faced with the situation, the leadership is now mulling a proposal to skip the resolution from the T process.
The party’s dilemma became clear when Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Thursday told the media in Delhi that the “Telangana issue had already been discussed in the AP assembly. Stating that a prior resolution from the state assembly was not mandatory, Shinde said the alternate route — of a direct in-principle Cabinet nod and constitution of a Group of Ministers (GoM) to work out the modalities of AP ‘s bifurcation — was faster and in keeping with the procedure prescribed under the Constitution.
Answering a query whether the Centre was bypassing the normal practice of the state assembly adopting a resolution for creating a separate state, the home minister said the Centre wanted to complete the process within six months as against the normal time of eight to 10 months. Shinde, however, said it may not be possible to introduce the Telangana Bill in Parliament during the Monsoon session and will be tabled during the Winter session. Sources said the Centre might bank on a statement made by late chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy on the floor of the House on February 12, 2009 promising steps for formation of Telangana.
The assembly had a detailed debate on the issue and expressed a unanimous view. Now, that Congress high command plans to harp on the YSR’s statement to take the process forward and at the same time fix YSR Congress, which is gaining strength in Seemandhra after the T announcement. Two days ago the Congress high command had decided to send the T resolution to the state assembly after the approval of Union cabinet in the first or second week of August.
AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh disclosed to media while announcing the decision on Telangana that the process of formation of the new state would start by asking the state assembly to pass a resolution in this regard. “Everybody knows that this would be a numbers game and the number of MLAs from Seemandhra region, are more compared to that from Telangana. In this situation, no chief minister will be able to ensure a safe passage of resolution and he cannot be blamed for this,” said a minister who is in the inside track.
The Congress high command now wants to go ahead with formation of Group of Ministers to resolve the contentious issues once the Cabinet recommends the President to take steps to create India’s 29th state. “If the resolution gets defeated even before it is being presented to the President, it would send wrong signals and may attract litigation stating that the state is not in favour of the division,” said Congress sources. To avoid this embarrassment, the Congress high command held discussions with some legal experts and is now examining the proposal to appoint GoM without obtaining the view of the State government.
Kiran Reddy is in a fix as he cannot assure safe passage of resolution and at the same time cannot afford to sit silently when the entire process is being expedited by the party high command. If the high command decides against sending the resolution to the state assembly, it would be even more embarrassing to the chief minister who then might face allegations that he did not even give opportunity to people’s representatives on a crucial issue like division of the state.