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'TRS will not settle for a Telangana without Hyderabad'

Last updated on: August 11, 2013 15:42 IST

'TRS will not settle for a Telangana without Hyderabad'

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Telangana Rastra Samithi chief K Chandrasekara Rao has kept the Congress guessing. The question that whether the TRS merge with the Congress or not has become the question most asked today.

Although the TRS supremo does not say anything much about this issue, his close aides point out that it would be better to wait and watch rather than merge the party immediately.

The man the Congress wants the most says in this chat with rediff.com’s Vicky Nanjappa that it is up to the people to decide who to give credit for Telangana. The TRS has fought for this cause all along and it is not up to any party to take credit for the movement, but wait for the people to decide.

Merger with the Congress: Let us wait and watch what happens. Let the bill be passed in Parliament and the President sign it. I will speak on this issue only after that. We have been seeing what has happened with the Women’s Reservation Bill. All talk regarding alliances or merger will be made only after the Bill is passed.

The Congress may be trying to take credit for the issue, but let the people decide about this. This is not about taking credit, but about the sentiments of the people and they will decide at the end of it which party should govern Telangana.

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Image: Activists shout slogans as they form a human chain during a protest in front of the Charminar in Hyderaba. (Inset:Telangana Rastra Samithi chief K Chandrasekara Rao)
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

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I didn't started the TRS with an eye on leading Telangana as CM'

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Political ambition: I had not started the TRS with an eye on leading Telangana as the chief minister. I have been saying right from the start that if the TRS is elected to power in Telangana, then it would be a Dalit who would be the chief minister. I will not go back on my word.

The focus of the TRS would be more towards bettering the region which has faced all kinds of injustices since the past six decades. There are a lot of problems in the region and they need to be taken care of first before leaders start thinking of their own political ambitions. The first priority would be to better the power situation. A lot of emphasis would be given to education as that is my dream.

The struggle for the TRS does not end with the formation of Telangana. There is a long road ahead of us and we have been fighting for a cause. Once the state is formed we should not squander away a chance, but work hard towards improving the state. Whichever government is in power in Telangana, the job of the TRS would be to ensure that all developmental projects are implemented and the state made into a model state.

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Image: Telangana Rastra Samithi chief K Chandrasekara Rao speaks to his supporters


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'We have lived as brothers for so long'

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Safety of Seema-Andhra people: There would be no problem for anyone as we have lived as brothers for so long. The Constitution provides a right to all people of India to live wherever they want in the country. Statements made by me were misinterpreted and this was done deliberately by a section of the people who wanted to create problems.

All I was trying to say was that people of each region should be working in their respective regions and the jobs need to be shared by the domicile. I would also want to add that there is no pressure on any of the employees from the Seema-Andhra region to leave immediately. There is a 10-year gestation period and until the bifurcation and all such formalities are completed, no one needs to leave.

If my intention was to create a problem for those employees then I would not have said that those who retire within the gestation period would have to leave Hyderabad. If they wish to buy property in Hyderabad and settle down here, then we have no issues. We are non one’s enemies. I should remind you that the “go back to Andhra,” slogan was discontinued. We never approved of such a slogan.

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'We are fine with Hyderabad being common capital for 10 years'

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The issue of Hyderabad: I am perfectly fine with the idea of Hyderabad being a common capital for 10 years, provided it is the Telangana government which runs it. I would however want to add that the TRS will not settle for a Telangana without Hyderabad and the capital sharing can only be time bound.

We will also fight tooth and nail if there is even a proposal to make it a UnionTerritory or add two more districts to Telangana from Rayalseema. We do not want a state with all these complications. We want a state with 10 districts and Hyderabad as the capital.

We can assure one and all that there will be no issues for people of Seema-Andhra while Hyderabad is a common capital for 10 years. We perfectly understand that time is needed for them to set up a new capital and we are willing to give them that time.

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'The people of Telangana have got a raw deal'

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Will power and water problems increase after Telangana is formed? This is something that Andhra Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy said a few days ago. These statements are nothing but a bunch of lies to confuse the people and stall the formation of the state.

The leaders from Seema-Andhra must understand that the concept of a united Andhra has not succeeded and the people of Telangana have got a raw deal. Today, that the issue has been decided, I don’t think anyone should add to the problem, but gracefully accept the decision. If Reddy thinks that the formation will cause problems, then I invite him for an open debate on the issue and will prove him wrong.

Maoist issue: I know there have been talks that the Maoist issue will crop up once the state of Telangana is formed. Let me assure everyone that it will not happen as we are all serious about resolving the issue. The issues pertaining to development is something that have been raised time and again.

The social and economic agenda of both the TRS and the Maoists are similar and we will set a platform and speak with the Maoists in order to sort out the issue. However this would be possible if they give up arms as we are looking for a solution and not a problem. Talks can never be held if one party is not ready to give up arms.


Image: A Telangana supporter shouts slogans during a demonstration in Hyderabad
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

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