'We had to resign. We have waited a long time'
As Andhra Pradesh witnesses a major crisis over the Telangana issue, legislators and parliamentarians from the region are sticking to their demand for a separate state.
Rajya Sabha member Keshava Rao, who hails from the Telangana region, submitted his resignation on Monday in protest.
In an interview with rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa, the senior Congress leader says that people's patience had run out and that they will settle for nothing less than a separate state.
Do you see the Centre giving in to your demands regarding the formation of a separate state?
I cannot speak for them now. But that is what we have been demanding and we hope that our exercise will ensure that a separate Telangana is formed.
The Centre has formulated three options for you. Will you give in to that and take back your resignation?
There is no question of taking back our resignation at this stage. We have come forward to resign only to seek a separate statehood for which the battle has been on since the past many decades.
Click on NEXT to read further...
'The other options are not feasible'
Will you meet the party high command now that you have made your point?
Yes, we will meet them and discuss the issue. However, as I said the only demand is the formation of a separate state. The other options are not feasible.
Do you expect a positive response during that meeting?
I would like to be positive. But I cannot tell what will happen at this moment.
Is this some kind of drama that all of you are doing or are you really serious about the issue?
I am committed to the movement and hence I thought I must resign my Rajya Sabha membership.
You had many options in the past, especially when the Sri Krishna Commission report came out. What took you so long?
We did not want to act in haste. In every issue we need to speak, discuss and only then decide on the matter. We have had many such talks in the past and since nothing really came out of it we decided to go ahead with our resignations.
Image: Chidambaram With Justice Sri Krishna
'This was the only way in which we could make our voice heard'
Looks like you have adopted the resolution of all pro-Telangana activists to create a constitutional crisis in the state and dislodge the government in your state.
No, that is incorrect. Our intention is not to create a constitutional crisis or even bring down the government in Andhra Pradesh.
This was the only way in which we could make our voice heard and also the intention was to bring pressure on the Centre for the formation of Telangana.
Do you feel cheated by the Congress?
I cannot say that. But I would add that nothing had come out on this issue since the year 2004 when the Congress aligned with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and put out is election manifesto.
We have waited a long time and hence we had to go ahead with this today.
'We had to do this for the people'
How did the meeting with the Prime Minister go?
We did tell him about our intentions. The Prime Minister gave us a patient hearing and assured us that action would be taken.
Do you find all the MLAs and MPs from Telangana united on this cause?
Yes I do and each one realises the pain of the people of Telangana.
We had to do this for the people. There has been a delay in the formation of the state. Since 2009 assurances have been given that Telangana would be formed and the process has always been stalled. We had no other option.