M A I N   N E W S

Jagan revolts, leaves Cong red-faced in LS
Party’s pro-Telangana MPs seek disciplinary action against him
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 15
Split within the Congress over the simmering Telangana issue was out in the open today, with none other than YS Jaganmohan Reddy, son of former Andhra Chief Minister YS Rajashekhar Reddy, openly revolting in Lok Sabha against party high command’s decision to divide the state.

In an audacious rejection of the UPA’s offer to create a separate state, Jaganmohan not only walked alongside the TDP MPs to the well of the House, shouting anti-Telangana slogans, but also shook hands with them in a show of solidarity and even snatched a placard from them that read: “We want a united Andhra.”

For the Congress, it was a moment of embarrassment, with the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal scurrying for strategies to control the damage. However, it came too late.

As for Jagan, he appeared in control of his actions this morning, and it seemed he intended to do every bit of what he did. So when later in the day, the Kadapa MP, who has been eyeing power in AP since his father’s demise, blamed the morning events on “confusion” and his urge to unite Andhra, not everyone believed him.

His “friends” in the Congress, led by Madhu Goud Yaskhi and M. Jagannath, accused him all day of ‘colluding with the TDP to unsettle the Congress regime in Andhra.’ They were furious in the House when Jaganmohan rushed to support TDP member KN Rao’s anti-Telangana references in the Zero Hour.

“There was no provocation to do so except the fact that Jagan doesn’t want to miss any opportunity to dethrone CM K Rosaiah,” they said, later petitioning the chairman of Congress’ disciplinary committee AK Antony for action against Jagan.

That apart, the party’s image in Lok Sabha got a severe beating today, with the floor management failing to prevent the embarrassment that pushed the Congress into a series of indoor meetings in the Parliament House.

Jagan, for his part, made a desperate attempt later to explain his conduct in the House: “I was sitting beside an MP from Telangana and when the MPs rose...I too got up, there was so much confusion. Chandrababu Naidu is the real culprit. The TDP wants to break the state and the Congress was left with little choice. Had the Congress kept quiet, there would have been violence in the state...On the movement for a united Andhra... the TDP, the Praja Rajyam Party did a U-turn; Naidu and Chiranjeevi did a U-turn.”

“Since I was the only non-Telangana MP, I had to explain. Tomorrow, I will patch up with my colleagues and we will be together again,” added Jagan.

Earlier in the day, anti-Telangana MPs from the TDP tried to disrupt proceedings as soon as the House met. They were later allowed to raise the issue during Zero Hour, with TDP’s KN Rao slamming the Telangana move, only to find Congress brigade, led by Jaganmohan, supporting him.

What followed was a verbal duel between Congress’ pro and anti-Telangana MPs, who gave the Opposition much to relish and the Speaker a cause to adjourn the House briefly.







CCPA meet ends with tame appeal
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 15
Even as it is still battling with fissures within its own ranks, the Congress today came against a wall of opposition from UPA allies who questioned the government’s “hasty” decision on the creation of a separate state without evolving a consensus.

As a result the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) that held a crucial meeting to discuss the political crisis came out with a tame one-line appeal, asking people and political parties in Andhra Pradesh to maintain peace and harmony.

Sources said the meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saw sharp differences emerging amongst UPA partners with Trinamool Congress, DMK and NCP questioning the government’s decision to divide Andhra Pradesh that further led to clamour for smaller states from other parts of the country. UPA allies, who were brought into picture for the first time on the Telengana issue, are understood to have expressed reservations over the issue.

Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran attended the meeting in which Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Chidambaram and External Affairs Minister SM Krishna were also present.

MPs from Rayalseema and Coastal Andhra, who have been pitching for “united Andhra”, are disappointed with this one-line appeal. Expecting a more concrete assurance, they questioned, “On one hand they gave an open assurance on Wednesday night and today they issued a one-line appeal. How is this (appeal) going to stop the violence (in the state)?”

The open support to TDP MPs by son of late AP CM YS Rajashekara Reddy Jaganmohan Reddy, who had earlier pitched in for the CM’s post after his father’s death, embarrassed the Congress. Upset over Jaganmohan’s approach, pro-Telangana MPs met Defence Minister AK Antony, demanding disciplinary action against him. “We do not like the way Jaganmohan joined hands with the TDP. It is indiscipline.

We have conveyed it to Antony,” Sarvey Sathyanarayana said. Jaganmohan later clarified he was forced to exhibit his support for a united state in Lok Sabha as he did not want TDP alone to take the credit for supporting a unified Andhra. “I want to be with the people of Andhra Pradesh. We stand for a united Andhra Pradesh,” the Kadapa MP said.

Accusing TDP and its leader Chandrababu Naidu of being the “culprits” for the current situation in AP, Jaganmohan said, “TDP and Chandrababu Naidu are the culprits for all what is happening now. Had Chandrababu Naidu not said he would support the resolution for bifurcation of the state, the situation would not have risen to this level.”

Explaining what happened in Lok Sabha earlier today, Jaganmohan said, “I was standing along with the MPs and there was so much of confusion. Andhra MPs were shouting slogans for a unified state and Telangana MPs were shouting for a separate state. I was standing there and there was no other way to exhibit (my views).”

Sonia likely to devise Cong line soon

Congress President Sonia Gandhi is expected to formulate a party line soon on the situation arising out of the government’s decision on separate Telangana statehood. Party sources say Gandhi, who is also the chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP), will address party’s meeting expected to take place on Thursday. However, there is a possibility that the meeting may get postponed, they added. So far, the Congress President has not revealed her mind over the Telangana issue, after the controversy broke out, leading to sharp divisions within the party between Telangana and anti-Telangana groups.







Protests for united Andhra go on 
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, December 15
The unrest over the Centre’s move to carve out a separate Telangana state reached a crescendo today with the coastal and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh being rocked by protest rallies, hunger strikes and incidents of arson.mThe legislators from the two regions, who had quit their positions, met the Assembly Speaker N Kirankumar Reddy and insisted that their resignations be accepted. In the 294-member Assembly, 146 MLAs had resigned, cutting across party lines, to protest against the proposed bifurcation of the state. As the state observed the 57th death anniversary of Potti Sriramulu, who died during his fast-unto-death in 1952 demanding a separate state for Telugu-speaking people from the erstwhile Madras Presidency, the occasion provided an emotional punch to the anti-Telangana campaigners who want the state to remain united.



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