Telangana Congress leaders to be pressurised to quit

Hyderabad, Jan 28 (IANS) With the central government indefinitely delaying a decision on the separate state of Telangana, the ruling Congress party's public representatives in the region would be pressurised to quit and join the movement.

Accusing the Congress party of betrayal, Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), which is spearheading the movement, has decided to train guns on the ministers and parliament members of the ruling party.

JAC chairman M. Kodandaram Monday morning held an emergency meeting of the apex body at the venue of its ongoing protest here to chalk out future course of action to intensify the agitation.

The action plan would be announced in the evening when Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao also would address the protestors at the city's Indira Park.

Devi Prasad, one of the JAC leaders, said they would mount pressure on the Congress leaders to quit. One of the suggestions at the meeting was to call for the boycott of Congress ministers, MPs and state legislators.

The TRS, which was attacking the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress Party for not coming out in support of the Telangana demand, has now decided to target the Congress party as well.

"Our slogan now is 'Congress ko khatam karo, Telangana hasil karo (finish off Congress, achieve Telangana)'," said TRS legislator K. Tarakarama Rao, son of Chandrasekhara Rao.

The TRS leaders vent their ire at the Congress leaders, especially some ministers, for not speaking out strongly against the statements made by Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in charge of the party affairs in Andhra Pradesh.

Senior minister K. Jana Reddy, who is leading the ministers and legislators from the region, said he still hoped that the Congress-led UPA would grant statehood to Telangana. Chandrasekhara Rao bluntly asked Jana Reddy to stop playing the tricks.

Shinde, who had declared after the Dec 28 all-party meeting that a decision would be taken within a month, Sunday said it would take some more time for consultations. Azad said there was no time frame for concluding the consultations.

The anger among pro-Telangana groups was evident when Congress MPs Ponnam Prabhakar and G. Vivek and senior leader K. Keshava Rao were heckled at the Indira Park late Sunday when they came to address the protestors. TRS leaders came to the rescue of the Congress leaders to address the gathering.

Some Congress MPs are reportedly planning to quit the party. They are likely to either join the TRS or float a separate outfit to fight for the Telangana cause. However, ministers and legislators want to wait for the central government's announcement.

Students' groups, especially those from the Osmania University in Hyderabad, have also threatened to attack Congress leaders either to mount pressure on the central government to carve out Telangana state or to quit the party.

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