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'Rude' Vayalar Ravi leaves AP Congress leaders fuming

Last updated on: January 18, 2013 16:32 IST

Many Congress leaders from Andhra Pradesh are up in arms against Union Minister Vayalar Ravi for being rude to them when the Telangana statehood was raised. "The manner in which both Ravi and  Ghulam Nabi Azad (minister of health and family welfare) spoke to us is an indication that the Centre is hell bent on carving a separate state of Telangana," said one of the Congress leaders who was part of the meeting.

Around 15 Congress leaders from the Seema Andhra region who met with Vayalar Ravi said the Union minister was curt and said that the Congress had been assured of a minimum 16 seats from the Telangana leaders in their region. 'Are you able to give us such an assurance? Leave alone winning, can you at least ensure 16 seats in the Andhra and Rayalseema region,' Ravi is said to have asked the leaders.

Ravi told the leaders said that YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy will play a major factor in the Andhra and Rayalseema region in the next elections and none of them could assure the Congress of a decent performance. 'It appears to be difficult for you people to counter him and there are so many fencesitters who would join him as the elections come close,' Ravi is said to have told the leaders. Ravi said that in Telangana the Congress could win a decent number of seats and hence the high command has decided on considering a separate state.

Azad said that the Telangana Congress leaders were extremely good at lobbying and were in touch with the high command in New Delhi pressing for their demand. Barring a couple of anti-Telangana statements, none of the leaders from the Seema-Andhra regions lobbied enough and made a case against dividing the state, Azad told the leaders.

Following today's meeting; Congress leaders have decided to meet with the high command on January 21 to make a last attempt to stall the formation of a new state. They have also threatened to resign from their posts in case the state is formed. Some of them even indicated that they would quit the party and possibly join the YSR Congress party.
Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru
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