Parties flay Cong for dithering on T State

Parties flay Cong for dithering on T State
Highlights

Political leaders from various parties in the State demanded a separate Telangana State at the Round-table...

Political leaders from various parties in the State demanded a separate Telangana State at the Round-table Conference of Political Parties held here on Thursday. Unanimity emerged on the issue at the meet which passed two resolutions. Implied in the resolutions was the suggestion that it rejected both the Telangana package and Rayala-Telangana proposals, besides any moves to make Hyderabad a Union Territory. Also, decided was an all-party delegation should meet President Pranab Mukherjee and submit a memorandum to him on Telangana. Since the President is familiar with the issue, it is being felt that it would be appropriate to approach him on the issue and seek his intervention.

In his welcome address, Delhi TJAC Convener D Ramakrishna Reddy said the purpose of the Roundtable Conference was to unite all political parties, barring the Congress and the CPM, and to evolve a strategy to achieve Telangana. Rejecting the offer of Telangana Package, Ramakrishna Reddy said it was a question of the Congress fulfilling its own commitment on Telangana, made in the statement of the then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on December 9, 2009.

All the leaders representing different political parties were unanimous in their view that Telangana is a long-standing demand of the people of the region, which cannot brook any further delay and the problem should be expeditiously resolved. It was also decided that political parties should mount pressure on the Congress-led UPA Government to bring the Telangana Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament. If the Telangana Bill is not passed now, then it is the last chance for the government, as after that it would be stepping into election mode.

TRS leader K Keshav Rao, who recently quit Congress, lashed out at Congress President Sonia Gandhi, accusing her of betraying Telangana people, after making solemn commitments not only in the Congress election manifesto, but also in the UPA's National Common Minimum Programme (NCP) and in the President's Address to the joint sitting of both House of Parliament in 2004. Accusing Sonia Gandhi of supporting the demand for a resolution when a woman was killed in the Ramlila Grounds in the Capital, she never cared to react when 1,000 youths committed suicides, he said.

In a hard-hitting speech, Keshav Rao said it was he who shaped the Congress stand on Telangana as a member of the Pranab Mukherjee Committee set up by Sonia Gandhi in 2001. The CWC Resolution passed the same year also favoured Telangana. He went on to claim that he was responsible for compelling the Congress High Command into entering into an alliance with TRS in the run-up to the general election in 2004. Having held top posts in the party and closely working with Sonia Gandhi, he realised that she has betrayed the people of Telangana, he said.

Another TRS leader G Vivek, who had also quit Congress recently, detailed the injustice done to the region. Against the eligibility of 1200 tmcft water, Telangana gets only 300 tmcft. There is also a mismatch in the number of people's representatives, as Andhra has 175 MLAs against 117 of Telangana and Andhra has 25 MPs against 17 of Telangana, which makes the people of Telangana eternally a minority. TRS leader Shravan said the people of Telangana are restless. There is high anxiety among the people with regard to jobs, water-sharing and their self-respect. Despite growing suicides, it was shocking that there was no expression of regret from the Congress establishment.

Prof G Haragopal felt he need not labour hard on presenting the Telangana issue and all that he needs to do is to advance the case of his native district of Mahboobnagar. Forty per cent of the people go out as migrant labourers, which is the highest in Asia. River Krishna flows through the district for close to 300 km and against the allocation of 220 tmcft, it gets only 10 tmcft, leaving it without even drinking water. If the allocated water is released, Mahboobnagar will be as well developed as Krishna district, he said.

BJP General Secretary P Muralidhar Rao said BJP President Rajnath Singh, during his previous tenure in 2006, had brought Telangana on BJP National Agenda. He rejected the charge that the Vajpayee Government failed to create Telangana along with three other States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand. Muralidhar Rao said at that time, Telangana was on the Andhra Pradesh BJP Agenda and it was not brought on to the BJP National Agenda or on to the NDA National Agenda.

BJP Vice-President Bandaru Dattatreya said that this is the last chance for the Congress to create Telangana, failing which it will lose out on the opportunity to bag the credit for it. If the Congress fails to do it in 2013, the BJP will create Telangana within 100 days of coming to power, he said. Bhim Singh (Panthers Party) said the Congress has betrayed the people of the region. The people of India should give rest to the Congress party for the next 10 years, he said.

The leaders who spoke at the Roundtable Conference included K Keshav Rao, G Vivek and Shravan (TRS), D Raja and Azeez Pasha (CPI), Bandaru Dattatreya and P Muralidhar Rao (BJP), Yogendra Yadav and Anand Kumar (AAP), Govind Rao Adik (NCP), Bhim Singh (Panthers Party, Aparna (CPI-ML-New Democracy), G Devarajan (Forward Bloc), Arun Srivatsav (JD-U) and Javed Iqbal Khan and K S Mohanty (RLD).

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