After attempts to forge political alliances and revive its party in Andhra Pradesh have largely yielded little result, the Congress is reportedly planning to announce the formation of the new state of Telangana by this month end, in a bid to build on the political gains of the announcement before the next state and general elections.
UPA Chairperson and Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi yesterday met with senior Congress leaders including Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad and senior party leader Vayalar Ravi.
While one senior leader was quoted as saying that no decision had been taken in the meeting over whether to form Telangana, other reports said that the party was inclined to form the new state and could announce the decision before the month end.
The timing of the announcement has reportedly been forced by the decision of the Telangana Joint Action Committee, which has called for the revival of the agitation for the separate state on 30 September and the BJP's decision to back the agitation for the formation of the separate state, the Indian Express reported.
The Congress' fortunes have been on the decline since the 2009 victory in the state, and though attempts are being made to form political alliances with parties like YSR Congress, they have yielded little result so far.
Among the options being considered by the Congress include declaring Hyderabad a Union Territory or keeping it the joint capital for the two states for some time. Another option is to include two districts from the Rayalaseema region, the report stated.
While the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has declared it would merge with the Congress on the formation of the new state, the two parties remain divided over whether Hyderabad should be included in the new state or not, The Economic Times reported.
The Home Ministry is also reportedly planning to host an all-party meeting in order to evade the accusation that it is delaying its decision on the formation of the new state. However, with most major political parties now backing the decision to form the new state, the Congress would be seen as being the sole party delaying the decision on forming the new state.
For a party that is attempting to revive its fortunes through economic reforms and shrug off allegations of corruption that have dogged it throughout its term, will the formation of Telangana help the Congress retain its hold over the region?
with inputs from PTI