Indira Gandhi kept Andhra Pradesh united: Kiran Reddy

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 31, 2013 10:19 hrs

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who is opposed to the state's bifurcation, Thursday said the credit for keeping the state united goes to late prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Paying tributes to Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary, the chief minister said she was the driving force behind the development of Andhra Pradesh.

"She controlled separate agitations of Telangana and Jai Andhra to keep the state united for the overall development and welfare," said Kiran Kumar Reddy while paying tributes to her in Visakhapatnam.

"What I am mentioning, (Article) 371-D or the problems that would arise if the state is divided are only the words of then prime minister Indira Gandhi in Parliament Dec 21, 1972," a statement released by the Chief Minister's Office here quoted him as saying.

"I have only reiterated what she said. I have not said anything wrong," Kiran Reddy clarified in an obvious reference to criticism from Telangana leaders that he is defying the Congress leadership over its decision to carve a separate Telangana state.

He said Indira Gandhi never compromised on development of the state or keeping it united.

Kiran Reddy last week wrote a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking their intervention to stop bifurcation of the state. He also raised the issue of Article 371-D under which Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) enjoy certain safeguards in matters of employment.

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