The MLA says he does not need any certificate to be called a ‘Samaikyawadi’

A meeting organised by APNGOs JAC (West Krishna wing) to ‘elicit’ a promise from local MLAs and Ministers that they would fight for a united Andhra Pradesh by opposing the ‘T’ Bill on the floor of the State Assembly, plunged into momentary chaos when Congress MLA from Vijayawada East Yalamanchili Ravi expressed strong reservations about the manner in which the whole exercise was being carried out.

“It is like a virginity test (seela pariksha). I am more a ‘Samaikyawadi’ (integrationist) than any of you here. Why should I be then asked to prove my virginity (read honesty)? I don’t need anybody’s certificate to be called a ‘Samaikyawadi” he challenged, triggering angry protest by leaders of various JACs sitting among the audience.

Referring to resignation en masse by MLAs in 2009 in protest against separate Telangana, Mr. Ravi said that nobody had come forward to support them. “In fact, we became a laughing stock in front of all you people,” he said, further stoking the anger.

Soon, many others joined the din to shout down the MLA who made a feeble attempt to continue his speech. Krishna District NGOs JAC Chairman A. Vidyasagar made repeated pleas to the audience to calm down, in vain. Minister Kolusu Parthasaradhy, Vijayawada Central MLA Malladi Vishnu, Mr. Vidyasagar and others intervened to placate frayed tempers.

Sensing public mood, the MLA also brought down his pitch and said he was only trying to narrate his own woes to people. “I am not highly educated. I do not know how to articulate my speech. We are all wedded to the cause of ‘Samaikyandhra’ and we will do whatever it takes to defeat the ‘T’ bill in the Assembly,” he announced amidst public applause.

‘Unfair to blame Congress alone’

There should be no second thought on our commitment to the cause of ‘Samaikyandhra’, said Secondary Education Minister Kolusu Parthasaradhy on Saturday.

He was addressing a ‘Samaikyandhra Rashtra Parirakshana Vedika’ meeting organised by the APNGOs’ JAC (Krishna West) to ‘extract’ an oath from people’s representatives on their loyalty to the cause of a united Andhra Pradesh.

The Minister complimented the APNGOs for successfully spearheading the ‘Samaikyandhra’ agitation for 60 days without losing sight of the decorum. “But it is unfortunate that the UPA Government alone is being blamed for the present scenario. Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is being targeted, Rahul’s name is also being dragged. This is not fair. In 2009, when the Congress high command withdrew its ‘Telangana’ move, where was the need for other parties to declare their support for separate Telangana? Hold every party equally responsible,” he said.

He said there should no doubt in people’s minds with regard to Congress leaders’ commitment to the ‘Samaikyandhra’ cause because “we are working under a team leader (Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy) who has defied the party high command to declare his open support to the cause of a united Andhra Pradesh”.

The Minister expressed his displeasure at the ‘shabby’ treatment meted out to party MP Lagadapati Rajagopal by integrationists. He said Mr. Rajagopala had been supporting the cause right from the initial days of the Telangana proposal.

He said that there was no truth in the contention that smaller states were easy for administration purpose. “The UPA must constitute a committee and send it to Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand States which are in turmoil,” he said. Vijayawada Central MLA Malladi Vishnu said had Congress MLAs resigned their posts following pressure by the JAC leaders, the State would have come under President’s rule and the ‘T’ bill would have been passed without any opposition in the Assembly. Vijayawada West MLA Vellampalli Srinivas said that even if the party issues a whip, they would defeat the ‘T’ Bill.

The headline of this report has been corrected for a factual error which mentioned Mr Ravi as a TDP MLA. The error is regretted.

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