The Congress Party seemed to be fishing in troubled waters to regain its lost ground in Andhra Pradesh, which was once its citadel but now totally decimated.

           This was amply evident from the events within and outside parliament during the last two days when Congress leaders, after maintaining a stoic silence for the past two years, suddenly decided to champion the cause for a Special Category Status for the state of Andhra Pradesh. While the party members in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha created a ruckus over the issue on Tuesday, senior leaders including AICC President  Sonia Gandhi, Vice-President of the party Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and others at a meeting outside parliament on Wednesday vowed to wage a relentless war against the BJP-led NDA Government till the Special Category Status and other assurances made by the then  UPA Government in Rajya Sabha.

The APCC led by its chief  N.Raghuveera Reddy launched a signature campaign in this aspect. After collecting one crore signatures, the party organized a meeting on Wednesday in the national capital to hand over the memorandum with the  signatures to the central party leaders for submitting the same to  President of Indian and also the Prime Minister. A former Congress Union Minister and film actor K. Chiranjeevi even collected the signatures of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh on the memorandum.

            Speaking on the occasion Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi reminded the NDA Government about the assurances made by the then Congress-led UPA Government to the people of Andhra region to accord special category status to the new state of AP after the formation of a separate Telangana State. They declared that the Congress would fight till the end to make the NDA Government fulfill all the assurances made at the time of bifurcation the Telugu State.

            Even on Tuesday the Congress members raised the issue in both the Houses of parliament triggering off heated arguments with the BJP members, who in the past had supported the formation of a separate Telangana State, being pushed to the wall. Though Union Finance Minister Arun Jasitley and Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu madxe it clear in parliament that the Centre was committed to fulfill all the assurances made in the past during the passage of the Bill for the creation of a separate Telangana State, however did not categorically make any promise for granting Special Status to AP.

            What is intriguing is that the Congress party which is responsible was creating the prevailing mess, is now trying to target the BJP over the issue. There is no denial of the fact that it is the Congress, which was then

heading the UPA Government, had cleared the decks to concede the overwhelming demand of people of Telangana for a separate state of their own. As a matter of fact Sonia Gandhi  was the architect in preparing the blueprint for the formation of Telangana State with an eye on the 2014 elections. To succeed in her plan of anointing  Rahul Gandhi as the PM once the Congress retains power at the Centre after the 2014 elections, she was determined to ensure as many seats as possible for the party to achieve her goal. She expected that the party would win a majority of seats in Telangana if a separate state was accorded. Thus she ensured that the UPA Government cleared the passage of the Bill in parliament for the formation of Telangana State. What is more even the BJP, which was then in the opposition, also supported the formation of a separate Telangana State with the fond home that it too would get the blessings of the Telangana voters.

            However all the calculations of the Congress went haywire as the people of Telangana handed over power of their new state to TRS which had waged a relentless struggle to achieve a separate state. To add salt to the wounds, even the people of Seemandhra region voted out the Congress party with vengeance. As a matter of fact the Congress was completely wiped out from AP where as the new political outfit YSRCP had emerged as a force to reckon with. Telugu Desam party headed by Chandrababu Naidu with his balancing act on the Telangana issue managed to come to power in AP  by forging an alliance e with the BJP in the 20124 elections.

            Thus with the BJP now at the helm of affairs at the Centre and TDP being its ally, the people of AP expected that AP would get the special category status. People pinned their hopes on Chandrababu Naidu to influence the   BJP-led NDA Government and also the PM in this regard. However even after a lapse of two years special status seemed only a distant dream for the people, who started becoming restless with each passing day. Chandrababu Naidu who was put in a piquant situation in this regard became a target of attack by his adversaries, especially the main Oppositon YSR Congress Party led by Y S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

            Meanwhile the honeymooning between TDP and BJP in the state began to turn sour and the latter even began to consider breaking its ties with its ally and go it alone in the next elections. The YSR Congress Party also began pushing the TDP to the wall on the special status issue. All these developments made the Congress, which was waiting for an opportunity to bounce back in AP seemed to have decided to siege the chance by capitalizing on the burning issue of special category status.

            Thus the Congress leaders within and outside parliament seemed to be championing the cause for a special status to AP mainly to impress upon the people of the state that it was they who could fulfill their aspirations as the TDP leadership had let them down badly in this regard. In this manner the Congress leaders seemed to be hoping to win over the people’s confidence by putting both the TDP and the BJP on the mat. One has to wait and watch as top how far this Congress ploy would work.

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