After making futile attempts to convince the Telangana Rashtra Samithi for merger, the Congress party has decided to dwarf the TRS in its bastions.
According to sources, the Congress High Command has given its nod to the Telangana Congress leaders to launch an aggressive campaign in the Telangana region to counter possible attempts by the TRS to take credit for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. "People of the region know very well that it was the Congress party which granted statehood for Telangana region. It risked its political existence in Seemandhra region to give Telangana State and therefore, no other party has a right to steal credit from the Congress party," a senior leader said.
The decision to fight TRS in Telangana was taken after the Congress High Command sought a report from senior leaders in the region. The T-Congress leaders reportedly briefed the High Command that TRS was not so strong as it projects itself to be in the region. It won 26 out of 54 seats that it contested in 2004 elections, primarily due to its alliance with the Congress party. However, in 2009 elections, it lost 16 of its 26 seats in the Assembly and three out of five seats in the Lok Sabha, when it contest against the Congress party by being a part of TDP-led Grand Alliance. It was only through by-elections that the party was able to increase its strength to 17 seats in the Assembly, the Congress leaders told the High Command.
The T-Congress leaders claimed that the TRS had no cadre in most of the Assembly seats in Telangana region and it alone could not take on the Congress party in the next elections. "Telangana will be a reality by January next year and a Congress Government will be in place before 2014 elections. Therefore, the Congress party will be able to sweep the next elections," they claimed.
Following an assurance that they would be able to counter the TRS in the region, the Congress High Command has reportedly assigned Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, Panchayat Raj Minister K Jana Reddy and former minister Mohammad Ali Shabbir to organise an intense campaign in the region. Meanwhile, all Congress leaders from the region have been asked to focus on the region without involving themselves much into the State politics.
In the first phase, the Telangana Congress leaders will conduct the Victory Rallies in all districts. Although the first rally was held in Bodhan on October 18, the others were postponed due to heavy rains and floods. The same are now being revived and a Victory Rally will be held in Gadwal of Karimnagar district on Tuesday. Another rally is being planned in Adilabad district on November 13. The fresh dates for the postponed rallies are likely to be finalised in a day or two.
The T-Congress leaders are also planning to organise a massive public meeting in Hyderabad at Parade Grounds in December wherein Central leaders would be invited.