Hyderabad, Aug. 14: So long it was Telangana nameplates and numberplates, now its Telangana flags.
Congress legislators and ministers from Telangana today dropped plans to boycott Independence Day events and decided to attend flag-hoisting ceremonies in their Assembly segments and district headquarters, but unfurled their own designs to keep up the pressure for a separate state.
We also want to hoist the Telangana flag at mandal and district headquarters across the 10 Telangana districts, MP Gutta Sukhender Reddy said after a meeting of the Telangana Congress steering committee this afternoon.
It is learnt that the Telangana flags will just have an outline of the region.
Since last month, Telangana activists have already been painting the word Telangana across Andhra Pradesh on boards and nameplates at government offices in all the 10 districts in the region. They havent even spared vehicle numberplates.
The decision to attend official I-Day programmes tomorrow came after the party high command persuaded the legislators not to skip the events.
Despite Telangana Joint Action Committee convener Kodandarams repeated appeals today to stay away from Independence Day events, the Congress ministers and MLAs refused to stick to their decision to boycott the official celebrations.
However, Reddy, who represents Nalgonda in the Lok Sabha, said Telangana MPs would continue their boycott of Parliament.
At the meeting, attended by ministers Basawa Saraiah and Panala Lakshmaiah, it was also decided that ministers from the region would continue to stay away from the secretariat.
Seven Congress MPs, including K. Keshava Rao, were also among those who attended the meeting that discussed the Centres move to withdraw a contentious clause, 14(F).
With the annulment of the clause, which had been a key demand of Telangana protesters, residents of six Telangana districts will get preference over the rest of Andhra in jobs and education in Hyderabad.
The Andhra cabinet, which has not met since June 18, will meet on August 16, but not in the official cabinet room. The meeting will be conducted at the residence of chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy.
It appears that the Telangana ministers agreed to attend the meeting at any place other than the state secretariat.
In June, when we resigned, we pledged not to return to the secretariat without Telangana, said a senior minister. If we go (there) now, it will be a loss of face (for us).
Sources said the 12 ministers from the region were also apprehensive that it could trigger a backlash from Telangana protesters.