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Digvijaya faces party ire on Telangana

Hyderabad, Dec. 12: Senior Congress leader and Telangana troubleshooter Digvijaya Singh today faced black flags and “Go Back Diggy Raja” placards after he arrived here to ensure smooth passage of the bill to create the new state.

Digvijaya’s role as a pacifier and “peace maker” came under further strain when chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy reportedly told him bluntly that he and other Congress MLAs opposed to the split of Andhra would oppose the Telangana bill in the Assembly.

The draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, to set up the new state was sent here this evening on a special flight from Delhi. A Union home ministry official handed it to chief secretary P.K. Mohanty. The bill will be sent to the Assembly in a day or two, officials said.

Digvijaya made it clear to Reddy and other Seemandhra MLAs that the Centre would not go back on Telangana. The chief minister, too, said he was committed to a united Andhra.

“Digvijaya Singh told me that every MLA is allowed to speak their mind and no one will be coerced,” Reddy was quoted as telling legislators later.

Naidu trip off

Telugu Desam Party boss N. Chandrababu Naidu will not travel to Rajasthan tomorrow for BJP leader Vasundhara Raje’s swearing-in. Desam sources said Naidu cancelled the trip after learning that the Telangana bill had reached Hyderabad.

Naidu was slated to meet Narendra Modi in Jaipur amid speculation that the Desam was trying to return to the BJP-led NDA.