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KCR faces revolt as leaders threaten to split party

By N. Rahul

HYDERABAD, MARCH 14. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was faced with a rebellion in its ranks on Sunday as over 20 senior leaders held secret parleys threatening to split the party to protest against the alleged dictatorial attitude of the president, K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

The meeting came close on the heels of the abolition of all committees of the party by Mr. Rao on Friday. The Political Affairs Committee (PAC) had authorised him to replace these panels with an Election Organising Committee to oversee preparations for the elections. With this move, only Mr. Rao and an office secretary continue to hold party posts.

Stung by the development, some senior leaders, including the PAC chairman and former Indurthi MLA, Desini Chinamallaiah, the former Mahabubabad MLA, Bandi Pullaiah, and the former Ibrahimpatnam MLA, K. Ramulu, met at the residence of the Karimangar Zilla Parishad Chairman, K.V. Rajeswara Rao, here this evening.

They were of the view that the PAC did not have the authority to recommend the abolition of the committees. It was against democratic norms and values for Mr. Rao to continue in the post holding complete powers. It also amounted to insulting the three crore population of Telangana and the network of party leaders and workers who were part of a movement.

They reportedly expressed anguish at the manner in which the alliance with the Congress was struck, "without taking party leaders into confidence.'' They were particularly sore that the party had "compromised" on the demand of Statehood for Telangana while forging the alliance.

This action, they held, went against a resolution of the PAC which favoured alliances with only such parties which gave an undertaking to strive for Statehood to the region. The Congress gave no such assurance when it accepted the plea for constituting a second States Reorganisation Commission.

They took exception to the "numbers game'' played by the Congress and the TRS in arriving at an understanding without identifying the seats to be shared. They were also unhappy with Mr. Rao for not protesting against the AICC president, Sonia Gandhi's assurance on taking up of the Pulichintala and Polvaram projects to benefit the coastal districts. It was Mr. Rao who had said in the past that there would be bloodshed if Pulichintala was taken up.

Discussing the "style of functioning'' of Mr. Rao, the meeting felt he had taken "unilateral decisions'' without giving a chance to other leaders to be heard. The leaders were unhappy that they "sacrificed'' their "self-respect'' waiting for hours to get an appointment with Mr. Rao. They were not against the alliance with Congress but the manner in which it was arrived at.

The leaders were firm about going to people under the banner of a different party if matters came to a head. They were prepared to face any disciplinary action, including expulsion. They said Mr. Rao called on the Minister, B. Gopalakrishna Reddy, thrice and the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, once in the aftermath of the attack on them by naxalites but avoided visiting a senior party activist when he suffered a heart attack.

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