My post is not permanent but the state is: Kiran Kumar Reddy
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy in an interview with CNN-IBN said he will stay on as the chief minister and fight for a united Andhra.
Transcript of the interview
Congress’s decision to divide Andhra Pradesh a mistake
“It’s basically the people of the state, especially the Seemandhra districts; there are lot of concerns and worries about their future. So, dividing the state without solving the problems is a very big concern. They are basic issues like the capital…nowhere in independent India the capital of a state has been divided or has gone to the other side.”
“Then we have basic problems like river water distribution, we have problems of distribution of electricity, we have problems of education, which is Hyderabad centric. Lot of youngsters come to Hyderabad for education and most of the IT sector and industries are in and around Hyderabad. So making Hyderabad a part of one sector is what is worrying lot of them. Irrigation is already a contentious issue. These are the basic concerns.”
“Without showing concern and answering all these problems…what is the alternative? Dividing is not proper…see politically the party has taken a decision, it’s for the government of India to show the answers to how you are going to sort out each issue. I have not divided the state.”
The entire process of bifurcation being flawed
“In 2004, we said in our manifesto that a second SRC (States Reorganisation Commission) will be put…In 2009, before the elections, Mr Rajasekhara Reddy put the Rosiah committee to answer to all these concerns including the people living in Hyderabad. Not a single concern has been addressed as yet. The government of India has to address these concerns and satisfy the people of Seemandhra before going ahead. Problems are not only going to be for Seemandhra but for Telangana also.”
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Image: Police crackdown on anti-Telangana supporters
'My stand for a united AP has been made clear to party high command'
Division of state to be done only after the concerns are addressed
“Yes, including Hyderabad. Telangana has a major problem of power shortage, so it’s not going to be easy for anyone. River water is going to be a contentious issue for both the regions.”
The reason of dividing the region with elections round the corner; is Congress eyeing 17 seats of Telangana
“I don’t think the state decisions should be taken on political considerations. I think the people of the state and the future of the state, and their well-being is much bigger than political parties, their concerns for their political gains and losses. We have to see in a holistic way both the future of Andhra Pradesh and the future of the people.”
The division of Andhra Pradesh done for political opportunism
“My stance has been very clear as far as my high command is concerned. I have put forward all the concerns of the people of Andhra Pradesh, including Telangana. Being united these problems can be sorted out better than being divided. Both politically and financially the state will be stronger if united.”
“Divided it becomes weaker and financially also there is a problem in sorting out these issues. The benefit of the people of Andhra Pradesh including Telangana is a united Andhra Pradesh. I have said this very clearly to my high command…this is my consistent view, I have not changed my view anytime.”
Whether the chief minister would resign if the Centre decides to go ahead with the formation of Telangana
“See first the bill or the resolution has to come to the assembly…we have to debate it in the assembly. The concerns of the people have to be reflected in the assembly. People of the state should be aware of what is happening. Only after it comes to the assembly, then any call can be taken…the resolution should come to the assembly.”
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Image: Schoolgirls walk past a police barricade in Hyderabad
'State is not formed just for political gains or losses'
Assembly resolution essential for the division
“How can it take place, we have constitutional provisions, we have got procedures which any government has to follow. As per the Constitution it has to come to the assembly, there has to be a debate. The concerns of the people…the people of the state should know why division is taking place.”
Hyderabad being a joint capital for 10 years also not acceptable to the CM
“See it’s not acceptance by me. It has to be accepted by the people of Seemandhra, by the people of the state, and the people living in Hyderabad and surrounding areas. Basically, the issue has to be debated, the concerns have to be addressed and an amicable solution should be there. Whether it is united or divided you cannot have people of certain areas affected very badly by the decision.”
Law & order situation being a priority or do you believe that it is just people’s anger which should be played out
“No, no there are about six-and-a-half lakh government employees on strike for the last 50 to 55 days. On Monday the power generation and transmission employees have gone on strike, so only 50 per cent of the power is being distributed. There is no problem in generation as of now but distribution is a problem. We are continuously talking to the employees and we are trying to convince them that people are going to suffer by these blackouts. It is a serious concern and we are continuously talking to them to come back to work.”
The decision taken by Congress divided the people of the state
“See that is the basic problem. The whole decision is, it (the state) should be united…Telugu should not be divided. That is the sentiment of the people of Seemandhra.”
“The sentiments and problems of Telangana can be addressed better if it is a united state. A state is not formed just for political consideration or political gains or losses.”
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Image: Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy
'I will stay on and fight'
Whether the CM is ready to sacrifice his chair on this issue
“My chair is a very small sacrifice in front of the people’s agitation and people’s future. My chair is not important. I am not permanent in this chair.”
“Quitting is not the solution here…we have to debate the issue. We have to convince the people of the state to why it should be united…we have to convince our high command that it should be united. The problems which are going to arrive after division…it has never been debated in the public. It has to be debated.”
“My post is not important…but if I give it up it will not help the cause…I will stay on and fight.”
Whether the decision of division of Andhra Pradesh should be taken in a hurry and on the eve of the elections
“Yes, we have to address the people…their future is linked with this state and Hyderabad…so no decision surely before elections (2014 general election).”
“We will convince our high command about the problems…we will try our best to convince them. It is not an easy decision for the high command also. Our problem is to solve one problem you cannot create a bigger problem…that is what we are trying to tell the high command.”
All political parties scoring political points over the issue
“Mr Chandrababu Naidu (Telugu Desam Party) and Mr Jaganmohan Reddy (YSR Congress) supported the decision at some time or the other. They have changed their stance. Mr Babu has not yet changed his stance…He has never spelt out in the 67 or 68 days that the state should be united even now. So he is doing a dharna, I don’t know for what. Mr Jaganmohan Reddy has taken a U-turn. We have never said the division should be there…we should be united. We are not politicking here; we are only concerned about the future of the people of the state.”
Is it fear or genuine concern?
“I am not permanent and my post is not permanent…the state is permanent. The peoples concerns are permanent. We cannot see the future of the people being jeopardised.”
Can the decision backfire for the Congress and UPA
“We have said that the peoples concerns are above any politics or anything…our request is until the people are convinced and solutions are showed to them, we cannot go ahead.”
Image: Police crackdown on an anti-Telangana supporter in the Vizianagaram district in Andhra Pradesh