It is a misconception that the Congress will gain politically if Telangana is granted statehood, Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal tells Vicky Nanjappa.
There is hectic activity in New Delhi with several leaders from the Seema-Andhra belt making a last ditch attempt to stall the announcement regarding the formation of Telangana.
Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal is one among the many Congress leaders in New Delhi who is hoping that the government changes its mind on bifurcation. The solution was not to divide the state; other options could be worked out instead, he told rediff.com.
Rajagopal said, “We are still hopeful that Andhra Pradesh will not be divided. However, there was an indication that the Congress will go ahead with the decision to form Telangana”
“The blame lies with the Telugu Desam Party, who had not properly opposed the bifurcation of the state. The party had recently written a vague letter to the Union government, which gave the impression that all were united over bifurcation,” he added.
The TDP had stated in its letter that they had taken a decision in 2008 and stuck to it. However, it did not mention in as many words the decision it had taken. Back then the TDP had favoured the formation of Telangana. According to Rajagopal, this letter was crucial and hence the TDP will be blamed if the state if divided.
“We will continue with our efforts of stalling the bifurcation. Even if an announcement is made we will continue speaking with the high command about this issue and ensure that the state remains united,” he said
“I do not agree with the notion that the formation of Telangana will benefit the Congress politically. In fact, I feel that the Congress is likely to lose more seats if the state is divided. Ensuring that the state is united would see the Congress winning 30 seats in the forthcoming parliamentary elections,” he added. “I can say this with confidence. Look at the results our party achieved in the last two elections that were held in 2004 and 2009. We won both on the state and national level and this was when the state was united.”
The lawmaker said that separatists were making statehood an issue. “The Congress has not fared badly in the Telangana region. The results came in our favour despite Andhra being united. Even in the cooperative elections we won eight out of the nine seats and this should be an indicator.
"If separatists feel that they will win a lot many seats if the state is divided, they are mistaken. There are only three parties in the state that have a standing -- the Congress, TDP and now the YSR Congress. These parties together would win at least 270 out of the 294 seats and this has been indicated by a private survey. These statistics remain the same even now, which means those spearheading the separatist movement will manage to win only 24 seats," said Rajagopal.
Image: A pro-Telangana supporter shouts slogans during a protest in New Delhi