Friday, Aug 08, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Mr. Rao, who arrived here last night, had a meeting with the AICC general secretary, Ghulam Nabi Azad, incharge of party affairs of the State on Wednesday. It is understood that Mr. Rao had offered to step down from the post in the interest of the party.
Mr. Azad had earlier said that Mr. Rao was primarily called to elicit his views on Telengana, in the wake of repeated demands from a sizeable section of party MLAs, urging the AICC to take a stand on formation of a separate State. There is a view among the central leadership that a stand could be taken on the issue after the coming Assembly elections in five States. During their meetings with central leaders, a section of party members from Andhra Pradesh also broached the subject of a poll understanding with the Telengana Rashtra Samiti. The arrival of Mr. Rao to the capital also assumes significance in the wake of persistent demands by several party leaders for change of guard in the APCC. Mr. Rao would near the end of his three-year tenure in November this year.
According to party sources, the central leadership favours that in the event of a change, the next PCC chief be from Telengana region, since the Congress Legislature Party leader, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, hails from Rayalaseema. Another consideration is that the new chief be either a Scheduled Caste or Backward Caste.
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