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Rao's sweep opens Telangana issue again
December 09, 2006 13:00 IST
The decisive victory of Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao in the Karimnagar Lok Sabha by-poll has brought to centrestage the issue of carving out a separate Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh.
Projected as a 'referendum' on the formation of a new state by the TRS, the former Union minister's re-election to the Lok Sabha with a record margin of over two lakh votes has put the ruling Congress under tremendous pressure.
''We will continue to exert pressure on the Congress, which had come to power at the Centre and in the state banking on the Telangana sentiment, to deliver on its promise to the Telangana people'', TRS spokesman Prakash said.
The explanation of the ruling Congress leaders that United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi was trying her best to evolve a broad consensus did not cut much ice with the voters.
Rao polled 3.78 lakh votes to 1.76 lakh by the nearest rival T Jeevan Reddy of Congress.
The controversy surrounding the pictorial warning of 'skull and bones' on the beedi packs dealt a body blow to the Congress which went to the by-poll, projecting the 'developmental' efforts of the state government in the beedi workers-dominated Karimnagar constituency.
Rao had quit the Manmohan Singh government along with his party colleague A Narendra in August protesting against the delay on the part of the UPA in taking a firm decision on the Telangana issue.