|Chandrababu Naidu on hunger strike in Delhi. Picture by Ramakant Kushwaha
New Delhi, Oct. 7: The Congress leadership has decided to nudge the government to speed up the division of Andhra Pradesh, viewing the protests in the coasts and Rayalaseema as political opportunism.
“Parties changed their stance after making commitments and are now misleading people and creating problems,” Congress spokesperson Bhakta Charan Das said today.
“They are ignoring the long historical significance of the struggle for Telangana and the widest possible consultation process held by the Centre. We appeal to the leaders of certain political parties not to indulge in this kind of politics.”
Sources said the new state could come into being sooner than expected and that the formation of a group of ministers to work out the details would be announced in a few days.
The Congress leadership believes the current spurt in protests has been organised by the Telugu Desam and the YSR Congress for political gains in the coasts and Rayalaseema since their prospects in Telangana are bleak.
Das described the anti-statehood fasts undertaken by YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy in Hyderabad and Desam boss Chandrababu Naidu in Delhi as political acrobatics based on deception.
“On December 28, 2012, TDP chief Naidu wrote a letter to (Union) home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, which was handed over by (Desam) party leaders Y. Ramakrishnudu and Kadiyam Srihari at an all-party meeting in Delhi, in which they have stated: ‘In deference to the sentiments of people of the region, TDP supports the demand for separate statehood’,” Das said.
|Jaganmohan Reddy fasts in Hyderabad on Sunday. (PTI)
“The letter also mentioned that the party politburo, in a resolution on October 9, 2008, took a policy decision in favour of a separate state. Chandrababu had said on that day that Telangana was a historic necessity and ‘our party has taken the right decision’…. He also said, ‘We would do whatever required — legally, constitutionally and politically — for the creation of a Telangana state’.”
Naidu recently claimed he had signed the letter under pressure from a party lobby and now regretted it.
Das also tried to rebut Jagan’s allegation that the state was being divided because Sonia Gandhi wanted to make her son the Prime Minister and the Congress thought it would win Telangana.
“On June 25, 2013, the YSR Congress held its party’s second plenary session at Idupulapaya. During the session, they passed a resolution in favour of Telangana. The YSR Congress working president, Y.S. Vijayamma (Jagan’s mother), also gave a letter to the Centre stating that their party had no objection to the creation of Telangana,” the Congress spokesperson said.
“In the letter they said that if justice can be done to both the regions by bifurcation, then the Congress should move forward in the process and the (YSR Congress) would then support the Congress high command’s decision on Telangana.”
Das said the BJP had consistently supported the creation of a Telangana state and yet was now justifying the Desam turnaround for narrow political gains.
He emphasised that the statehood decision was not taken in haste but after years of consultation and the formation of the Srikrishna Committee to look into the demand.
“If there were no protests in Andhra against the Telangana demand all these years, how come protests have started today?” Das asked.