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Congress leaders from Andhra, Rayalaseema bat for unified state

July 16, 2011 20:16 IST
Even as the political pressure to demand a separate Telangana state is mounting, Congress leaders from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions on Saturday said that the onus of keeping Andhra Pradesh undivided lies with the Centre.

Ministers, members of Legislative Council and members of the Legislative Assembly from the ruling party from these two regions congregated in Vijayawada for a round-table meeting, in which, they requested the Centre to maintain a status quo so that Andhra Pradesh remains undivided.

"We are ready for any sacrifice to keep Andhra Pradesh united," Andhra Pradesh School Education Minister S Sailajanath and former minister Mandali Buddha Prasad told media at the end of the conference.

A delegation of Congress leaders from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, led by Sailajanath, will meet the top brass of the party in New Delhi on July 18 and 19 to press for their demand of a unified Andhra Pradesh.

The round-table meeting also passed resolutions to request the Union government to take necessary steps for the protection of the lives and properties of people from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, but living in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana, in the wake of the ongoing struggle for a separate state.

 "Certain leaders from Telangana are instigating people and provoking them to indulge in violence. It is the responsibility of the government to protect the people against such attacks," the Congress leaders said.  

Maintaining that bifurcation of the state was not a solution for the development of backward areas, they pointed out that there were many districts in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions that were more backward than those in Telangana.

"Backwardness cannot be an argument for demanding a separate state. Smaller states do not have a scope for development and will rather complicate problems that cannot be solved," they added.

Former minister J C Diwakar Reddy alleged that the demand for Telangana has a political motive behind it and "to enjoy the seat of power." "It will be better if the chief minister's post is shared by coastal Andhra-Rayalaseema and Telangana regions for three and two years respectively. That will put the statehood demand to rest," Reddy, a strong proponent of a unified state, said.

As many as seven ministers, 18 MLAs and six MLCs attended the meeting, along with several former ministers and senior party leaders.

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