First YSR son, then allies: red faces in Cong over Telangana

New Delhi, Dec 16: Grappling with the Andhra Pradesh crisis, the Congress was embarrassed inside and outside Parliament today when UPA partners questioned the government’s “hasty” decision on a separate Telangana and Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, Congress MP and son of the late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, joined a TDP demonstration in Lok Sabha, even borrowing a placard from them which read “We want united AP.”

As angry Congress MPs from the Telangana region complained to A K Antony, who heads the party disciplinary action committee, saying Jagan’s actions amounted to violation of discipline, it became increasingly clear that his claim for a suitable political placement in Andhra Pradesh’s power matrix had receded significantly.

Congress sources said Jagan had been sounded out to head a coordination panel in the state that would monitor the performance of the K Rosaiah government — such a mechanism is followed by the party in several other states to balance competing factions.

Another offer, that of a junior minister’s post in the Central government, was also said to have been made to Jagan by the party leadership.

But the sources said that such offers for Jagan were now off the table, a clear indication that the Congress leadership was upset with him over the manner in which he demonstrated his opposition to a separate Telangana.

Earlier, in Lok Sabha, despite frantic waving of hands by Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal who seemed to be asking him not to head towards the TDP protesters, Jagan not only joined them but even borrowed a placard from them.

This action triggered a storm within the Congress. MPs from Telangana demanded action against Jagan and Vijayawada MP L Rajagopal who is also opposed to Telangana. “We do not like the way Jaganmohan joined hands with TDP, it is indiscipline,” said S Satyanarayana, Congress MP from Malkajgiri.

“We want action against Rajagopal too.” Ponnam Prabhakar, MP from Karimnagar, said the decision for creating a separate Telangana had been taken by the party high command and the actions of Jagan and Rajagopal amounted to “defiance of Sonia Gandhi”.

And in the evening, UPA partners, including DMK, NCP and TMC, were learnt to have questioned the government’s “hasty” decision on Telangana at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs.

Trinamool Congress sources said Mamata Banerjee said she had not expected the Congress to take such a “hasty decision”. The allies said the matter needed careful study since any decision taken in a hurry would trigger demands for creation of other smaller states.

“The CCPA took stock of the situation in Andhra Pradesh and appealed to people and all political parties in the state to maintain peace and harmony,” said an official release.