Congress will meet its rebellious Telangana leaders on Thursday to find a way out of the statehood stalemate ahead of the monsoon session when the resignation of nine party MPs could cause political problems for a government which has no numerical cushion. The issue took a sensitive turn on the eve of talks after a youth from the troubled region committed suicide near Parliament, blaming delay in formation of the new state.
The 31-year-old, identified as Mandadi Yadi Reddy, travelled from Bedala Mangalaram village in Rangareddy district of Andhra Pradesh and allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree outside Krishi Bhavan, close to Parliament.
His body was was found on Wednesday morning with a placard around his neck in which, written in English, was an appeal to political leaders and the media to highlight the cause of Telangana. A suicide note arguing the cause of Telangana was also recovered.
Telangana leaders will hold discussions with AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad. The meeting is likely to discuss ways of lowering the tempers to facilitate a solution. While the ruling party is averse to statehood, which it rolled back after announcing on December 9, 2009, there is a preference for giving autonomy to Telangana region as proposed by the Srikrishna Commission.
Buying time is not seen as a solution given the sentiments in statehood camp and the stance adopted by party MPs and MLAs from the region. The mood on ground zero shows that nothing short of division of state is acceptable and Congress leaders don’t have much margin of compromise in view of public pressure. According to a party MP, the protests held in his constituency in the heart of Telangana made it clear that resignation should not be withdrawn under any condition.
The angry mood carried over to the national capital with Yadi Reddy’s suicide. His family will come to Delhi on Thursday which would coincide with the meeting, further squeezing the Congress leaders’ ability to find a middle way.
The prime concern for Congress is resignations by Telangana MPs. With Parliament session starting on August 1, the government will be in a spot if the opposition or non-Congress Telangana outfits take up the issue of pending resignations.
While they were withdrawn last time, Congress’s options are restricted this time. Observers said separate treatment to Congress MPs may not be possible if TRS and TDP leaders, who too have resigned, insist on theirs being accepted.
Congress is banking on rejection of resignations because withdrawal may be difficult in view of public pressure on MPs. A leader said TDP MPs have made their resignations conditional which is not the acceptable format for acceptance. An expert said the resignations could be rejected if the presiding officer finds they were made under coercion — of threats issued by various statehood forums.