Anti-Telangana MPs meet PM, oppose any division of Andhra Pradesh

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 27, 2013 15:37 hrs

New Delhi: With the top Congress leadership appearing to have veered towards creation of Telangana, Congress MPs from rest of Andhra Pradesh opposed any division of the state while a party MP from Telangana region said the government should go ahead with the decision.

The six anti-Telangana MPs, including Union Ministers M M Pallam Raju, K S Rao, Chiranjeevi and D Purandeshwari (all hailing from coastal Andhra) and K Bapiraju and Anantarami Reddy met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a delegation to push for keeping Andhra Pradesh united.

The MPs told Prime Minister that there would be repercussions not only for the state but also for the entire country if Andhra Pradesh is divided.

Rao said after the meeting that any decision to split the state would create problems. It was not in the interest of the people nor the various regions of Andhra Pradesh, he said.

Talking to reporters, Bapiraju said the delegation told the Prime Minister that formation of Telangana will create problems in many states including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh where there are demands for separate statehood.

He said the PM gave a patient hearing to the leaders.

Pro Telangana Congress MP Ponnam Prabhakar told a press conference that there should be no opposition, including from party MPs, to the formation of the separate state as the process of consultation was over.

Now that the party has taken a "decision", the leaders from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema should not "create any hurdle" in the formation of Telangana.

"Please play the role of an elder brother and facilitate the creation of Telangana. Why pose obstacles now after three long years of consultations"? he said.

Yesterday, there were high-level discussions between the Congress central leadership and the state PCC leadership on the demand for creation of Telangana.

AICC General Secretary incharge of Andhra Pradesh Digivijay Singh and his predecessor Ghulam Nabi Azad had held separate discussions with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana and Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha.

The two leaders were understood to have conveyed to the state leadership that the party has made up its mind on the creation of Telangana and it was only a matter of time before it is announced.

Congress leaders from Andhra to stand by Centre's decision
Congress leaders from Andhra Pradesh on Saturday said that they will stand by the decision of the Central Government on the Telangana issue.

Congress leader C. Ramachandraiah said that they have appealed to party chief Sonia Gandhi to consider their demand of a united Andhra Pradesh.

"Nothing short of united Andhra will be acceptable," he said.

"Yes, ultimately we are disciplined party workers. Whatever the decision the party would take, but the intention of our leaders, we came here to express. We made a representation. Ultimately they have to take a decision. So whatever the decision the party will take, we will abide by it," he added.

Another Congress leader Ganta Srinivasa Rao said that still there has been no official communication from the party on Telangana.

"Once again we have instigated our demand. Nothing short of united Andhra Pradesh. United Andhra Pradesh only, all problems solved. Till today, till this minute nobody has revealed any decision," he said.

Meanwhile, Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao appealed to his party leaders not to create unnecessary pressure on the government as it is closely following the issue.

"2009 onwards they are seeing the situation, why people are sacrificing in Telangana; what is the reason-the backwardness, unemployment, all those things. Now they have come to one conclusion. So my request to the Andhra leaders is not to pressurize, not to resign, not to making ultimatum to the high command," he said.

The Congress Core Group on Friday had a discussion on the Telangana issue.

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, who is the in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, yesterday said the process of consultation over the issue of forming a separate state of Telangana is over and the time has come for concerned parties to take a decision.

Congress MPs from Telangana have so far accused the Centre of following what they call a 'one-step-forward-two-backward' approach when it comes to addressing their demand for a separate state.

The Centre's flip-flop over the issue began in December 2009 when the then Home Minister P. Chidambaram promised the formation of a new state only to go back on it after a few days.

The issue was later pushed before a committee headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna. This panel did not come up with a tangible solution, but instead presented six options.

These included the creation of a Telangana Regional Council within Andhra, bifurcation of the state into Telangana with Hyderabad as the capital and Seemandhra with a new capital; bifurcation of the state into Seemandhra and Telangana after making Hyderabad a Union Territory; bifurcation of the state into Seemandhra and Telangana with enlarged Hyderabad metropolis as a Union Territory; bifurcation of the state into Rayala Telangana and Coastal Andhra; and maintenance of status quo.

BJP accuses Congress of betraying people

 The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the Congress-led UPA Government of not being serious on the issue surrounding the formation of a separate Telangana state.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar alleged that the Congress has been betraying the people for the last so many years on the issue.

"Telangana's demand is a demand for justice. We want complete statehood of Telangana," he said, while reiterating that the BJP will agree for nothing less than complete statehood of Telangana.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders from the Seemandhra region met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi over the Telangana issue.

According to reports, Congress leaders from the Seemandhra have threatened to quit the party if the government gives in to the demands of the creation of Telangana.

The factions within the Congress party came more to the fore as pro-Telangana Congress leaders have also exerted pressure on the government on the issue.

"My appeal is to one and all atleast in the Congress ranks. Since last 56-57 years this has been on. We the people of Telangana want natural justice. The natural justice done from the centre like an elder person, everybody should accept it," a pro-Telengana Congress lawmaker Sudhakar Reddy said.

Congress MPs from Telangana have so far accused the Centre of following what they call a 'one-step-forward-two-backward' approach when it comes to addressing their demand for a separate state.

Students protest in Hyderabad against delay in formation of Telangana

Students of the Osmania University staged a protest here on Saturday against the delay in formation of a separate state of Telangana from the existing state of Andhra Pradesh.

A large number of students took out a motorcycle rally in Hyderabad where they shouted slogans against the ruling Congress Party for the delay in the decision.

The rally was, however, cut short after the police put barricades on the way and the protesters entered into a heated argument with them and in a scuffle, the policemen took some protesters into custody.

Rishank, one of the protesters, said: "Today the Telangana people are making a clear mandate for the entire Congress party that if they want to stay in power for 2014 politics, then we want a clear cut Telangana state with ten districts and Hyderabad as capital. We cannot have the two districts of Rayalseema just because they have made caste based politics to rule the entire state for their voting power."

Protests in Seemandhra against statehood to Telangana

Opposing Andhra Pradesh's division, which looks imminent, protestors Saturday took to streets in Rayalaseema and Andhra regions of the state.

Students and activists of various political and non-political groups took out rallies, formed human chains and observed shutdown in some parts of Seemandhra, as the two regions are generally referred to.

Educational institutions remained closed in several towns on a call given by Samaikhya Andhra or United Andhra students' Joint Action Committee.

A day after indications that Congress core group at its meeting Friday decided in principle to give separate statehood to Telangana, protests broke out in different towns of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema.

Hundreds of students participated in a rally in Nellore, demanding the central government to drop any move to split the state. Congress legislator Anam Vivekananda Reddy also addressed the rally.

In Anantapur, protestors laid siege to the house of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislator P. Keshav, demanding his resignation in support of the united state.

He assured the protestors that he would announce his decision after the proposed meeting of Congress Working Committee (CWC), which is expected to take a final call on Telangana.

Opposing the state's division, protestors also surrounded the house of state Endowments Minister C. Ramachandraiah in Kadapa.

Shops, business establishments and educational institutions were closed in Bapatla town of Guntur district. Addressing a rally, Senior Congress leader P. Goverdhan Reddy said state's division would have serious repercussions.

More trouble for YSR Congress as leaders from Telangana grow restless

After putting up a poor show in the ongoing Gram Panchayat elections in Andhra Pradesh and 16 of its MLAs resigning for the united state, the YSR Congress Party seems to be headed for another jolt this time from its top leaders hailing from Telangana, formation of which now appears in the realms of possibility.

The trouble is brewing over the "unwillingness" of the YSRC leadership to take an unambiguous stand on the statehood issue which has rattled the parties now struggling to keep their flock intact as the formation of Telangana seems to be the real possibility now.

YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), widely being perceived as the main challenger to both Congress and TDP, has ended up only as a fringe player in the ongoing elections.

Resignation of 16 MLAs from Andhra-Rayalaseema regions two days back coupled with uncertainty over the stand likely to be taken by Telangana leaders, could well reduce YSRC into a sub-regional player confined only to Andhra-Rayalaseema regions.

Former minister Konda Surekha, former MLC Konda Murali and two other senior leaders from Telangana region namely Jitta Balakrishna and K K Mahender Reddy held talks with YSRC honorary president Y S Vijaya over two days but were "left totally disappointed".

They said today that they would announce their future course of action soon.

"We asked her (Vijaya) to make the party's stand clear on Telangana....whether it stuck to the resolution passed in the party's plenary two years ago. But she was not forthcoming with a clarification on the issue," Konda Surekha told reporters after emerging from the meeting.

The honorary president was also not willing to clarify if the resignations tendered by the MLAs were out of their individual choice or the party decision, said Surekha who has been the face of YSRC since its inception two years ago.

"At a time when everyone is expecting a decision on the statehood issue to be announced, as sons (and daughters) of the soil we can not be seen as stumbling blocks," Surekha said triggering speculations that the leaders are set to quit the fledgling outfit which was formed by YS Jaganmohan Reddy, son of late Chief Minister and Congress heavyweight YS Rajasekhara Reddy.

Surekha had resigned from the K Rosaiah government in late 2009 demanding that Jagan be made the Chief Minister after his father's death in chopper crash.

She lost the by-election from Parakal last year while her husband faced disqualification as an MLC for siding with Jagan.

Former MP Indrakarn Reddy and former MLA Bajireddi Govardhan are the two other prominent faces of the YSRC in Telangana now. They have not come out into the open yet on the issue even as the crisis continues to persist in Telangana.

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