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Countdown For Cong Downfall?

After a brief lull, Telangana issue has once again occupied the centre-stage with Congress MPs and Ministers from the region holding separate meetings and vowing to take up the matter with the party high command in right earnest. The outcome of the confabulations of Telangana Congress leaders made it to the banner story in Andhra Bhoomi and Vaartha.

Eight Telangana MPs held a meeting at Peddapalli MP G Vivekananda’s residence and decided to write a letter to Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee, demanding that a bill on Telangana should be introduced in the coming budget session of the Parliament. Six Ministers held a separate meeting at DK Aruna’s residence and resolved to write to the high command saying that nothing short of separate state would satisfy the people of the region. Eenadu reported that there was a sense of urgency and desperation among Telangana Congress leaders and the two meetings appealed to the central leadership to take an early decision on the statehood demand.

Andhra Bhoomi ran a front page story with a headline Countdown in Congress, highlighting the growing sense of restlessness in the ruling party. Several senior leaders are worried over the stability and longevity of the government, given the changing political dynamics. Quoting party leaders, it said the Congress bigwigs were keeping their fingers crossed on how the Telangana issue will play out during the coming budget sessions of the Assembly and Parliament. There are doubts over whether the government would survive its full term. It would depend on two key factors the shape of Telangana agitation during and after budget session and the outcome of the imminent by-elections to Pulivendula and Kadapa. The report speculated that there could be a large scale exodus of Congress leaders to Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy camp if he can pull off massive victory in the by-polls. Otherwise, his proposed regional party will become a still-born child.

The political storm over the demand for re-opening the CBI case on Paritala Ravi’s murder to probe Jagan’s alleged links has further intensified. Sakshi and Andhra Bhoomi prominently carried Jagan loyalist Ambati Rambabus statement, demanding that Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy should also be covered in the probe.

The TDPs campaign against corruption and its president N Chandrababu Naidus outbursts against the UPA government made it to the front pages of Eenadu and Andhra Jyothy. Eenadu had three stories related to anti-corruption campaign on front page while Andhra Jyothy, in its banner story, made a comparison between people of Arab countries who have taken to the streets against their rulers and callous approach by the Indian government towards corruption and growing number of scandals.

In sharp contrast, Sakshi came up with a lead story, digging the past and highlighting how faction violence ruled the roost in Rayalaseema region during Chandrababu Naidu’s regime. Another report in Sakshi poked fun at TDP’s anti-graft rally, saying senior leaders gave it a miss and there was no public response to the campaign.

It also gave prominent coverage to Ambati Rambabu’s Dushta Chathushtayam remark, referring to Sonia Gandhi, Kiran Kumar Reddy, Chandrababu Naidu and Ch Ramoji Rao.

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