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Decide on Telangana immediately: Andhra opposition to Centre

Last updated on: March 11, 2011 21:15 IST
Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh on Friday demanded the Centre immediately take a decision "either way" on the contentious Telangana issue and end the uncertainty facing the state. They accused Congress of keeping Andhra Pradesh on the boil and paralyzing normal life for over a year and a half now.

"If you are looking at furthering your political interests, the vexatious statehood problem will only become more complicated," Leader of the Opposition and Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu warned Congress in the state Assembly on Friday. He said it was high time the Centre takes a decision on the statehood issue based on the recommendations of the Justice Srikrishna Committee recommendations.

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, the most influential minority political party in Andhra Pradesh with a strong base in Hyderabad, has reiterated that it was all for an integrated Andhra Pradesh.

During a discussion on the Million March in Telangana in the state Assembly on Friday, Majlis leader Akbaruddin Owaisi criticised the central government's vacillation on the sensitive issue. "Because of the dilly- dallying by the central government, the state is in the grip of lawlessness. Regional hatred and tensions are on the rise," he said.

"The central government should immediately take a clear decision one way or the other to end the uncertainty in the state," he added. 

When asked by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti members to clarify MIM's position on Telangana, Owaisi said that the MIM had repeatedly made it clear that it was committed to an integrated Andhra Pradesh. "We are against division of the state or changing the position of Hyderabad city," he said. Owaisi also criticised the Congress for not clarifying its stand on Telangana.

Condemning the violence on Tank Bund in Hyderabad, he said that it was the duty of the state government to ensure that such incidents do not recur. Earlier, he also urged Deputy Speaker N Manohar to ask all the boycotting Telangana legislators of different parties to return to the House and participate in the discussion on Thursday's incidents. "This is necessary to make the discussion balanced. Let the Telangana legislators also give their version," he said.

In its representation to the Srikrishna commission, the MIM had said that either Andhra Pradesh should remain a united state or Telangana and Rayala Seema should be kept together to form a Rayala-Telangana state. However, the party has opposed making Hyderabad a Union Territory.

MIM President and member of Lok Sabha Asaduddin Owaisi had recently said that if formation of Telangana state becomes  inevitable, Hyderabad should remain its capital as the city is part and parcel of Telangana.

Communist Party of India and CPI-Marxist leaders K Sambasiva Rao and J Ranga Reddy wanted Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy to camp in New Delhi till the Congress high command and the United Progressive Alliance government took a decision on the statehood issue.

Lok Satta Party president N Jayaprakash Narayan wanted the political parties to give up "zero-sum game politics" and find a lasting solution to the ongoing impasse. "We are all riding a tiger right now. The tiger could eat all of us away," he warned.

Though MIM and CPI-M wanted the House to adopt a unanimous resolution demanding that the central government immediately take a decision on the statehood issue, the Kiran Kumar Reddy government did not heed. Responding to this, the Chief Minister said every party had a responsibility on the statehood issue.

"There is no change in the Centre's stance on Telangana. But parties here changed their stance. The Centre had to change its stance after the December 9, 2009 statement as there was a division in Congress and TDP," Reddy noted.

The Centre would convene an all-party meeting after the completion of the ongoing Budget session of state legislature and, based on the views expressed by eight recognised parties, would take a decision on the statehood issue.

"The state government will abide by whatever decision the Centre takes," the CM reiterated.

With inputs from PTI
Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad