The internal squabble within the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) took a more serious turn on Tuesday as the organisation suspended its Co-Chairman N Prahalad and Convenor Pittala Ravinder after they questioned TJAC Chairman M Kodandaram.
Following a meeting of its steering committee, the TJAC announced that it had taken the decision to suspend the two senior leaders.
The organisation also alleged that the ruling TRS party in Telangana 'triggered' the revolt, as they were worried with its growing influence in the state, and the recent success of its rally for unemployed youth in the state.
In a statement, the organisation said, "Rulers are trying to weaken people’s organisations. We are suspending Prahlad and Ravinder who conspired with the ruling establishment against TJAC...As the rally became a super-hit and TJAC emerged as the voice of the people, the ruling establishment has intensified its efforts to hatch a bigger conspiracy against TJAC."
According to reports, Prahalad and Ravinder called the suspension 'meaningless', and said that they would announce their action plan at a meeting scheduled to be held on Wednesday.
The suspension of the two senior leaders comes after two open letters sent to Kodandaram by the duo, accusing the TJAC chief of treating the organisation like a political party, and allying constantly with other Opposition parties in the state.
"Is TJAC a social organisation or a political party? Prof Kodandaram is running it like a political party. In the general body meeting held earlier, it was decided to run TJAC like a social organisation. Due to his hasty decisions, the unemployment rally brought disrepute to TJAC," the letter read.
On Tuesday, the leaders wrote yet another letter, even as the steering committee meeting was being planned.
“On the one hand you say that TJAC will not move closely with political parties and, on the other, you meet politicians regularly. Is it appropriate for you?” they asked Kodandaram.
Kodandaram has often received criticism along these lines and has defended it.
In an earlier interview to TNM, Kodandaram had defended his decision to ally with political parties, saying, "Political parties are a legitimate institution, and perform certain functions in society...there will be certain situations when we will need to interact with the parties. We were just ensuring that certain concerns are voiced in the state legislature."
The differences between the organisation's leaders cropped up recently, after Kodandaram's decision to defy prohibitory orders when the TJAC was refused permission for a rally in Hyderabad.
The TJAC had decided to go ahead with its rally from Sundaraiah Vignana Kendram to Indra Park in the heart of the city on February 22, to demand that the state government must fulfill its promise of providing one lakh jobs.
This, despite the Hyderabad High Court suggesting that it either postpone the rally, or shift the location to the city's outskirts.
As a precaution, the police had arrested Kodandaram from his house in a late night raid, and shifted him to a police station.
At the time, Ravinder and the other leaders reportedly agreed with the HC's suggestion, but Kodandaram is said to have moved forward without consulting them.