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CM Kiran plans dharna in Delhi

Hyderabad, Jan. 31: Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has planned a dharna at Jantar Mantar and a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan next week against Telangana, taking his campaign to Delhi a day after the Assembly passed his anti-statehood resolution.

The protests by Reddy and other Seemandhra MPs and MLAs would further embarrass the ruling Congress as the Centre prepares to bring the bill to Parliament, which has the final say in statehood matters.

“Having defeated the (draft statehood) bill in the Assembly, Kiran Reddy is committed to take his battle to Delhi and Parliament. If necessary, he will camp in Delhi,” said aide Jagga Reddy.

Yesterday, Seemandhra Congress MP Undavalli Arun Kumar had spoken of a no-confidence motion, though an earlier plan for such a move on the same ground had been aborted because of a lack of numbers.

Sources said the chief minister was keen to go on a padayatra from Andhra Pradesh Bhavan to Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday and submit a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee to stop the state’s bifurcation.

Today, the chief minister continued talks with Congress MPs from Seemandhra to chalk out a strategy to counter the Telangana bill in Parliament.

He is learnt to have prepared a 200-page “dossier” for the region’s 25 Lok Sabha and 10 Rajya Sabha members.

“Each MP will be given a kit. They will be shown videos, PowerPoint presentations, newspaper clippings and documents on sharing of resources such as rivers and revenues now, and what was expected to happen after the bifurcation,” said a Seemandhra minister, S. Sailajanath.

The chasm in the state Congress has widened after Reddy’s resolution for the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 to be rejected and sent back to the President was passed in a din.

“It is clear from what happened yesterday that both the chief minister and the Speaker (N. Manohar, who is from Seemandhra) got the farce of a resolution passed in just three minutes,” said deputy chief minister Damodar Rajnarasimha, who is from Telangana.

After Reddy’s resolution was cleared, his Telangana MLAs and ministers had ignored him in the Assembly corridors. Later, industry minister Geeta Reddy boycotted an industry event attended by the chief minister.

Telangana leaders rejected Reddy’s justification for the resolution as “people’s move”, calling it a “blatant farce”.

“How can the chief minister claim that he alone is for the people? Are the people of Telangana not people for him?” said senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.