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Parties in AP support Telangana, then why is it taking so long?

Last updated on: November 17, 2011 12:36 IST

Parties in AP support Telangana, then why is it taking so long?

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The four main parties in Andhra Pradesh; Congress, Telugu Desam Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the Bharatiya Janata Party all say they support a separate state of Telangana, but there have been no concrete steps in that direction. A Ganesh Nadar reports.  

The issue of Telangana is a matter of great worry to the Congress leadership in Delhi. For two years the party has dillydallied on the issue of separate statehood while the state faced several shutdowns and strikes. To make matters worse many of their MLAs and MPs to have resigned as a mark of protest.    

The latest drama saw 12 MPs resigning, however, their resignation was not accepted by the speaker. So will the MPs now send their resignation to the President or stop attending Parliament and not take their salaries?      

The four main parties in Andhra Pradesh; Congress, Telugu Desam Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the Bharatiya Janata Party all say they support a separate state of Telangana. But then why is it not happening?

In Hyderabad the common citizen would flare up if you were to mention Telangana, as he has borne the brunt of all the shutdowns since the past two years. They say what they want is immaterial and no one listens to them anyway. 

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Image: AP Congress General Secretary Rapolu Ananda Bhaskar (Inset )
Photographs: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com
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'Everyone who lives in Telangana wants a separate state'

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Telangana is a political problem and needs to be solved politically. "People believed that Telangana would be a reality on December 9, 2009. Since then the people of Telangana - both the intelligentsia and the common man -have been disillusioned after that announcement made by P Chidambaram," said Congress General Secretary in Andhra Pradesh Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu. 

"There has been no clarity from the United Progressive Alliance or from the Union government. Though Congress President Sonia Gandhi responded positively to the formation of Telangana it did not translate into 
action," Rapolu added. 

Rapolu said that giving Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi charge of Andhra was a positive development. Nabi has had elaborate interactions with all the stake holders of Telangana. He said UPA partners have also been invited for discussions and they have been taken into confidence. 

"The people of Telangana have been cheated many times and they are now suspicious unless they see some action. 700 youth have lost their lives in this agitation. Everyone who lives in Telangana wants a separate state," Rapolu said.

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Image: Map of Telangana in the office of Telangana Rashtra Samithi
Photographs: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com
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'Why can't we have two states that speak Telugu?'

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"Hyderabad is an integral and land locked part of Telangana. There can be no discussion on it. It belongs to and will be a part of the new state. Hyderabad is not in Heaven. Hyderabad is not in Ireland. It is in Telangana and will remain here," said Rapolu. 

The Congress general secretary said that Hyderabad depends on Telangana for its food and water. It cannot survive without it. "You cannot run away from the geographical reality. The people of Andhra Pradesh who are living 
here can continue to do so. People in India can live anywhere; no one is asking them to leave," he said. 

"There will be no discrimination in Telangana. We are all Dravidians. Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra Pradesh will have to decide on their new capital. They have all resources like natural gas and minerals. They also have the entire sea coast," Rapolu added.

"Telangana people want their self-respect and their rights. Don't talk about linguistic states, as many states speak Hindi. They are not one and so why can't we have two states that speak Telugu," the Congress general secretary contended.

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Image: BJP MLA Kishen Reddy
Photographs: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com
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'We extend support Telangana, Vidarbha and Gorkhaland'

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"The Congress party in Andhra wants Telangana and we want Sonia Gandhi to give it to us," Rapolu said.

The BJP President in Andhra Pradesh MLA Kishen Reddy told rediff.com that they too are supporters of a separate Telangana state. "Our National executive decided to support Telangana in 2006. We also support Vidarbha and Gorkhaland. We don't have anything to do with the Telugu Desam or TRS regarding our support for Telangana. We are protesting on our own," said Reddy. 

"Political parties should decide this soon. They are back-stabbing the people after promising them a separate state. It was an election promise in 2004 and also 2009. They gave an assurance on December 9, 2011 in Delhi and then went back on that promise. 

What the state assembly is doing is irrelevant. Only the Union government has the power to divide a state. Hyderabad will be in Telangana. Our people are in America and they invest there. So there is nothing wrong in Andhra people who have invested here. They can stay here with their investment no one is disturbing them. 

Since 1956, Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra have been together and they will continue to be together. Hyderabad was the capital of Telangana before 1947 when the rest of Andhra was under British rule," Reddy added.

TRS leaders could not be contacted as they had all gone on a padhyatra in Telangana.

The Telugu Desam leaders were all busy defending their President Chandrababu Naidu after the CBI raids. Telangana was the last thing on their mind. 


Image: Photographs of Chandrababu Naidu in the office of Telugu Desam Party
Photographs: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com
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