Hyderabad: The party headed by Andhra Pradesh politician Jagan Mohan Reddy says it will oppose the decision to carve out Telangana as India's 29th state. Speaking to NDTV, Mr Reddy's sister, Sharmila, described the centre's move as "wicked" and "shocking."
She said that the initiative is aimed partly at containing the growing popularity of her brother, who quit the Congress in 2011 and formed the YSR Congress, named after their father, who died in 2009 while he was the state's chief minister.
Mr Reddy has been in jail for nearly 14 months on charges of corruption. But his sister and mother have campaigned on his behalf in local and state elections, with results that show the YSR Congress is a growing force in Andhra Pradesh.
Last week, the centre said that Telangana will become a new state within six months; for 10 years, it said, the IT hub of Hyderabad will be a shared capital between the old and new state. (Read)
The decision has led to street protests in the two other regions of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, which is the stronghold of Mr Reddy.
For now, the centre has said that the 10 districts that make up Telangana will morph into a new state. But leaders like Digvijaya Singh have acknowledged that they will gauge the possibility of affixing two districts from Rayalaseema to the new state.
That proposal is based on careful calculations because it would equally divide the 42 Lok Sabha seats from Andhra Pradesh between the two states. The gain the Congress makes in Telangana, its leaders believe, would compensate for a hit in the two other regions.
The bonus for the Congress is that the two Rayalaseema areas it wants to move over to Telangana are seen as loyal to Mr Reddy, so the new boundaries could potentially check his impact on voters.