In a clear sign of a rift within the Telangana Congress, the 'Congress Loyalists Forum', a group which was formed by senior leaders within the party, has written to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, asking her to take steps and fill in the void at the Centre. This, they hope, also expedites the process of a rehaul in the state unit of the party.
"After over four years of failed promises and misrule, people of Telangana were disenchanted with the TRS. However, we could not capatilaise on this in the assembly elections because of many lost oppurtunities to reach out to the people over the years and gross mismanagement of the process of electioneering at the state level, including 'encrouraging parachuters'. We ended with lesser number of MLAs and resulted in great disappointment among the party cadres," the letter states.
Stating that Rahul Gandhi's decision to step down as the Congress President has demoralised the rank and file of the party further, the letter adds that the 'spate of desertions' from the state unit of the party also had its impact.
"It is in this background that some of us, who are committed and senior Congress loyalists have come together, as the 'Congress Loyalists Forum' having taken note of the sentiments of the party's rank and file. We strongly feel that it is time to take serious steps to rejuvenate their emotions to strengthen the party at this critical juncture to be better prepared to take on the challenges confronting the nation," the letter adds.
They also asked Sonia Gandhi to step in and take a decision on the Interim Congress President
Speaking to TNM, a senior Congress leader who is part of the forum said, "Our primary concern is filling the void in the Central leadership. Then the state unit of the party will be able to sort its issues out and maybe even go for the election of a new Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President."
The Congress is presently eyeing the upcoming municipal polls but is facing stiff competition from the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the BJP, which has been gaining ground in the state.
The letter was signed by senior leaders Marri Shashidhar Reddy, V Hanumanth Rao, M Kodanda Reddy, former minister S Chandrasekhar and ex-MLC B Kamalkar Rao among others.