The Congress party’s high command has swung into action to douse the flames of dissidence in the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC). But it was not Priyanka Gandhi who stepped in to defuse the crisis, as some of the “original” Congressmen were hoping for.
Instead, it was senior party leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijays Singh who took charge of the situation on Tuesday, 20 December, and averted a meeting of “original” seniors scheduled for later in the day, to hit back at the “migrants” who have taken control of the party.
Former MLA Alleti Maheshwar Reddy told reporters that the proposed meeting of “original” seniors at his residence had been shelved after Digvijaya Singh called him and asked them not to take the issue to a point of no return.
“As the senior leader is seized of the situation and promised to sort out the issue, we have decided to call off the meeting,” he said.
According to him, Digvijay Singh had told him that he would visit Hyderabad and resolve all issues in a couple of days.
“He asked me to convey the message to all the seniors in the party. He said that the party was ready to resolve the issues through talks and that confrontation would not solve any issue but would only aggravate it,” he said.
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Pacified, for now
The main players of the old guard in the party — Nalgonda MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy, Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, and former MP Madhu Yaskhi Goud — who consider themselves genuine, “native” Congressmen, appeared pacified by the intervention of the party leadership.
“They welcomed the move by the party high command and are hopeful that all the thorny issues would be resolved soon. They have no demands to place before the party leadership. What we want are measures to save the Congress,” Maheshwar Reddy said.
Maheshwar Reddy said the seniors cannot be dismissed as leaders of no consequence and should be taken into confidence.
“There are leaders who have been in the party for more than 40 years. They have given their entire life to the party. They should be treated with respect. Justice should be done to them,” he said.
He evaded an answer when asked if the the seniors would want to lodge complaint against anyone when Digvijaya Singh visits Hyderabad.
“It is our internal issue. I cannot tell you anything about it,” he said.
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Seniors as rebels
The bottled-up emotions in the seniors burst out on 17 December when they got together at the residence of CLP Leader Batti Vikramarka and issued a “Save Congress” slogan.
They alleged that half of the committees appointed for the PCC had people who had migrated to the Congress from other parties while those who had been with the party through thick and thin had been left high and dry.
Speaking to South First earlier, former MP Madhu Yaskhi has said: “For Sonia Gandhi, Telangana is like a child. Under special circumstance we created Telangana despite being wiped out in Andhra Pradesh. We need to introspect on the party’s situation in Telangana and the central leadership should intervene. Our last hope is Priyanka Gandhi.”
Though they were not being explicit in their demand, the message that they were trying to communicate to the party high command was not hard to miss: They want Revanth Reddy out
But the party’s national leadership may not play ball with the dissidents on this count.
After the “original” seniors raised a banner of revolt on 17 December, the “migrants” hit back at them the next day.
As many as 13 leaders resigned from their positions in the newly appointed committees as a mark of protest for the dirt that the natives had kicked up to defame them.
At the moment, an uneasy equilibrium exists between the two groups. They continue glowering at each other, gnashing their teeth, and hating each other’s guts.