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'I will immolate myself in Lok Sabha if Telangana Bill is tabled'

By Vicky Nanjappa
Last updated on: February 13, 2014 11:53 IST
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The Centre is set to table the Telangana Bill in Lok Sabha on Thursday.

While Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has said that he will resign once the Bill is tabled, NGOs from the state have called for a bandh in the Seema-Andhra region.

But all eyes will be on Ankapalli MP Sabbam Hari, who has threatened self-immolation if the state is bifurcated.

Hari was expelled from the Congress two days back along with 5 others.

“I am ready to die to keep the state united, as I consider the decision of the Congress to be a very bad one. If the Bill is tabled in Parliament, there will be a self-immolation and I am very serious about it,” he says.

There is no internal democracy left in the Congress and it will pay the price in the 2014 elections, Sabbam Hari says in this interview with’s Vicky Nanjappa.
Are you really serious about the self immolation or is it just a political gimmick?

How can you call it a political gimmick? You will not understand the pain of the people.

I and my colleagues have done everything possible to coax and convince the Congress not to go ahead with the bifurcation as it is not in the interests of Andhra Pradesh.

If any attempt is made to table the bill, I will immolate myself in the well of the House.

Don’t you think that a decision has already been made? Even the BJP has agreed to support the Bill? Is not all this just a wasted exercise?

As I said earlier, no one understands the pain. The peoples’ voice was not heard and the manner in which a decision to divide a state without considering the majority view was taken is not right.

What choice do we have except fight it till the last breath? I am not

alone in this fight. Two other colleagues will also join me in this.
The Congress says it decided on Telangana considering the plight of the people of the region. Do you agree?

No, I do not. If the Congress was serious about the plight of the people they would have done this a long time ago.

The Telangana issue is not a new one and has been going on for several decades.

The Congress has cheated the people and is trying to make electoral gains.

It is a hasty decision aimed at gaining an upper hand in the elections.

How are the electoral prospects of the Congress in Andhra Pradesh?

By taking this decision, they have ruined themselves. They have pushed their own leaders from Seema-Andhra back to the wall. This is a horrible decision and the results in 2014 will tell how bad it will be for the Congress.

You were considered to be a Jagan Mohan Reddy loyalist. What happened?

Jagan Mohan Reddy does not listen to anyone barring two persons whom I do not want to name.

I had told him in his own interest not to leave the Congress since it would bring about his doom. He, however, was confident that 130 MLAs will follow him. In the end, just 15 MLAs joined him.

But the exit polls show that he will end up winning Seema-Andhra…

Yes, that is correct. But then one cannot say anything until the results are out.

Is it correct that Jagan and the Congress are together on the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh?

Yes, that is correct and I have stated that in the past as well.

Jagan gains from a bifurcation and hence he has decided to secretly support this move to divide the state with the Congress.

I had told the Congress not to get into this and keep the state united. Had the Congress listened to me, they would have done well in Seema-Andhra.

But the Congress has no internal democracy.

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Vicky Nanjappa