Cine actress and TRS MP M. Vijayashanthi on Thursday joined Congress at a time when the possibility of TRS merging with Congress seemed to have hit a roadblock. Vijayashanthi, who is not on the best of terms with TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao, on Thursday met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi after which the decision of her joining the party was announced.AICC general secretary in-charge for Andhra Pradesh Digvijay Singh, who accompanied the MP, told reporters that Vijayashanthi, the Lok Sabha MP from Medak, Andhra Pradesh, had taken the “blessings” of Ms Gandhi.Her joining Congress came within a week of parliament passing the bill for creation of separate Telangana state, the main demand of TRS founder K Chandrasekhar Rao. Rao and Vijayashanthi were the only members of the party in the outgoing Lok Sabha.”I am very happy to inform you that Vijaya Shanthi, the first actress to raise the issue of Telangana and a consistent fighter for it has decided to join Congress. She has taken the blessings of Sonia Gandhi,” Singh told reporters outside 10 Janpath, the residence of the Congress President.
Another contentious point has been as to when and where assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh – which are due along with the Lok Sabha polls – will be held. The TRS says it wants polls to be held in the new state of Telangana and not in undivided Andhra Pradesh.”It can be done as was done with other states in the past. The appointed day was given within a week after the Bill was passed. So if Congress desires, they can make it happen before the election schedule,” KT Rama Rao, TRS leader and son of KCR, told NDTV
Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, who played a key role in drafting the Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Bill which led to the creation of Telangana, though says it would take at least three months after the Presidential assent for notification for actual division or what is called the appointed day.
“Rushing into it would be a recipe for disaster. We should not bring electoral considerations into this. The only touchstone should be preparatory work like division of personnel, assets and responsibilities,” Mr Ramesh told NDTV.