press trust of india
NEW DELHI, 2 JUNE: Hitting out at leaders in Andhra Pradesh who have quit the party to join the TRS, the Congress today alleged that they have defected for personal gains and to ensure tickets for their kin in the coming elections and not for the Telangana cause.
“Unfortunately, the people who are joining today are joining as an individual in the capacity to make politics a business, trade,” AICC General Secretary and in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
Congress leader and former PCC chief K Keshava Rao and two MPs Mr G Vivekananda and Mr Manda Jagannatham quit last week to join the TRS that is spearheading movement for Telangana statehood.
“It is good riddance. The Congress party&’s policy, who have some conviction or devoted to the people,” he told NDTV.
“I do not think they are devoted to the people. I could have imagined if they would have resigned just for Telangana. But they have just bargained how many seats they are going to get for themselves and for their relatives (in elections),” he said.
With the issue returning to haunt the party, a meeting of the Congress Core Group yesterday took a view of the political situation in Andhra Pradesh. Mr Azad had attended the meeting.
The Congress is yet to clear its position on the vexed issue of Telangana. The separate statehood issue in Andhra Pradesh has been troubling the party for long, but it has repeatedly put off making clear its final stand on it.
Andhra Pradesh is one of the few major states where the party is in power on its own and a good showing is crucial for it in the general elections due next year.
Mr Azad said: “Once we are in politics we are supposed to stick to the conviction, which each person is forced to hold before joining any political party.”
Asked about his view on former PCC chief Keshav Rao, he said, “Everybody now knows that all of them have been promised Lok Sabha seats. Their brothers and children have also been promised seats, so they have not resigned for Telangana”.