Telangana issue confronts TDP too

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Hyderabad, Mar 21 (UNI) Even as the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh Government was finding it hard to grapple with the herculean task of taking a decision on the vexed Telangana issue, the main opposition Telugu Desam Party(TDP) is also feeling intense pressure from within the party to firm up its view on the issue ahead of the likely byelections to the four MP and 16 MLA seats vacated by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti(TRS) en masse in protest against the Congress ''deception'' on the issue.

Ahead of the likely byelections to these seats in May, along with the Karnataka Assembly elections, TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu today had a meeting with senior party leaders, including the TDP Legislature Party Deputy Leader T Devender Goud.

Realising that the party's future would be in jeopardy, if a clear-cut decision was not taken on the sensitive issue, some of the senior party leaders from the region, including Mr Goud have been putting pressure on Mr Naidu, party sources said.

In the wake of the severe drubbing the TDP received in the Karimnagar Lok Sabha byelection, which was retained by TRS President and former Union Minister K Chandrasekar Rao, the TDP Supremo, who had all along been maintaining that the party was committed to united Andhra Pradesh and even stated this before the United Progressive Alliance(UPA) Committee headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, changed the party's stand that the TDP would take an appropriate decision at an appropriate time.

Mr Goud had expressed the view that the people had rejected the party in the region in 2004 elections, probably due to its stand for a united Andhra Pradesh and wanted the party to decide on the issue before party's annual Mahanadu(Political Convention) in May. He had found support in the party from veteran TDP leader Ch Rajeswara Rao, who had maintained that the party could not ignore sentiments of the Telangana people any longer.

On the other hand, the TDP was also facing pressure from leaders of the Coastal Andhra region, including former Assembly Speaker, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, who have been maintaining that the TDP had lost the last Lok Sabha and Assembly elections not because of one factor, but due to variety of reasons.

In fact the TDP had bagged more seats in the Telangana region than in coastal Andhra or Rayalaseema. The party should adopt a ''wait and watch approach, as it was for the Congress, which had aligned with the fledgling TRS, espousing the cause of Telangana, which had to decide on the issue, they said.

Time and again Mr Naidu had asked partymen either from the Telangana or other regions of the State not to air their views on the issue in public, but to discuss the matter in party fora.

Meanwhile, gearing up for the likely byelections, the TDP made a review of the strengths and weaknesses of the party in various seats.


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