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Interview with Telangana leader K Chandrasekhar Rao
Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which organised a massive rally at Siddipet -- the home town of party founder K Chandrasekhar Rao, on Friday night asked the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre and the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh to take steps for the formation of separate Telangana state by adopting resolutions in the Parliament and the State Legislative Assembly.
The rally turned out to be a show of strength by the TRS after KCR and A Narendra quit the UPA government on August 22.
The sprawling college grounds were filled to the brim with the crowds spilling over to adjoining areas.
KCR and Narendra earlier led a 400-car rally from Hyderabad to Siddipet, a distance of 100 km. They lashed out at the Congress leadership for 'betrayal' and warned that the people of the region would throw the Congress out in the next Assembly elections.
Telangana academics, intellectuals, artistes and TRS leaders, all the five members of Parliament and 20 out of 26 legislators attended the meeting. Crowds were mobilised from all the 10 districts of Telangana, including Hyderabad.
Each MLA reportedly brought in 60 truckloads of supporters. The venue of "Samara Shankaravam" was bedecked with pink flags, festoons and banners hailing the leadership of KCR and voicing the confidence that Telangana would be achieved soon.
"We are ready to make any kind of sacrifice. We have quit our posts in the UPA Cabinet. We won't hesitate to lay down our lives while waging a relentless struggle for separate Telangana state. At the same time, we warn the Congress leaders, including their MLAs and MPs from the region, who have betrayed Telangana cause, to be prepared to face the wrath of the masses," KCR said, sounding the bugle for intensifying the agitation.
KCR said that the Congress had entered into a pre-poll pact with the TRS for the 2004 Assembly polls in a bid to encash on Telangana sentiment. The Congress had promised in its manifesto to work for separate Telangana state.
Subsequently, the UPA's common minimum programme, President A P J Abdul Kalam's address to Parliament and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] first press conference had all reiterated the Congress commitment to separate Telangana.
The UPA had also constituted a sub-committee headed by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee for consultations with UPA constituents and other parties to evolve consensus on separate Telangana issue. However, even after 21 months, the sub-panel had failed to submit its report on the plea that consensus could not be achieved.
KCR recalled that he and his party MPs, including Narendra, 'moved around in Delhi like chaprasis', lobbying with the leaders of all the parties to extend support to a separate Telangana state.
As many as 36 parties with 450 MPs had come out in favour of Telangana and the Bharatiya Janata Party had offered to help passage of the bill on the separate state in Parliament. However, the Congress leaders -- from Sonia Gandhi [Images] to Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy -- betrayed the Telangana cause and deceived and cheated the people of the region.
Lashing out at YSR, KCR said that the chief minister, in the name of Jala Yagnam, was seeking to divert waters of Krishna and Godavari rivers to his native Rayalaseema region as well as the coastal Andhra by taking up projects such as Pothireddypadu head regulator, Pulichintala, Polavaram as well as the scheme for diverting Godavari waters to Krishna delta through Dummugudem project.
Both KCR and Narendra appealed to party functionaries, intelligentsia, lawyers, businessmen and others championing the cause of Telangana to pool their resources to carry on a peaceful struggle for separate Telangana.
"We are not for adopting any violent means. We want to carry on our movement in a peaceful way, but if the Congress and other anti-Telangana forces come in our way, we will tackle them suitably," he added.
The TRS leaders asked the people in all the villages in Telangana region to ring a bell every evening to remind themselves about the fight for separate state. He said that the party had recruited and trained about one lakh volunteers under the aegis of Telangana Jagrana Sena.
These workers would work as the militant arm of the party. He said that the party would organise more meetings to mobilise the people for the 'long struggle'.
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