RPS leader Siddharth Reddy leads rally of youth and begins hunger strike

Rayalaseema Parirakshana Samithi youth wing president Byreddy Siddharth Reddy launched a 48-hour hunger strike in front of Kadapa Collectorate on Monday, demanding the Andhra State capital in Rayalaseema and allocation of assured waters to irrigation projects in the region.

Mr. Siddharth Reddy, who led a rally of youth and began hunger strike, accused successive Union Governments of meting out injustice to Rayalaseema region for long. The region suffered losses when Rayalaseema was separated from Madras State and lost its capital at Kurnool when Potti Sreeramulu’s 58-day-old fast led to creation of Andhra Pradesh, he said.

Rayalaseema lost Siddheswaram project and claim on irrigation water due to Shribagh Pact, he said. Rayalaseema interests were further betrayed by the unilateral bifurcation of the State, he alleged. Prolonged agitation led to conceiving of Telugu Ganga, Galeru Nagari, Handri Neeva, Chitravathi and other projects.

The RPS leader rapped the UPA Government for bifurcating the State ignoring the interests of the State. He flayed the elected representatives of the region for not voicing their concern on the rights and needs of the region. A capital in Rayalaseema would lead to corporate units and industrialisation and development of education, health care and employment, he said. The Centre should resolve the irrigation and drinking water needs of Rayalaseema, he added. He said the agitation would be intensified until the issues were resolved. Viswa Hindu Parishad State Vice-President Byreddy Ramakrishna Reddy, Indian National Janata Dal district president I. Venkatarama Reddy and BJP functionaries expressed solidarity.

Students of KSRM and KORM engineering colleges, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Science and Technology, Annamacharya Institute of Technology and Sciences and Srihari degree college visited the hunger strike and expressed support.

Byreddy launches protest

Special correspondent from Kurnool adds: President of Rayalaseema Parirakshana Samithi, Byreddy Rajasekhar Reddy launched two-day protest along with his supporters at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Zilla Parishad demanding capital of Andhra in Rayalaseema.

Earlier, he came in a rally after garlanding the statue of Sri Krishnadevaraya at Gowri Gopal Centre and began the two-day sit-in protest. Mr. Reddy said Sribagh Pact was like the Bible for the people of Andhra State and was linked to the birth of the State in 1953. In fact, one of the first activities of founders of Andhra State was laying down the principles of the pact in 1937.

Any violation of the pact would not ensure peace between the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema areas. He said Kiran Kumar Reddy, Chandrababu Naidu and Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy caused great disservice to the region in spite of being the sons of the soil. He said the people would not pardon the leaders and the elected representatives who toed the line of coastal Andhra leadership and sabotaged the cause of Rayalaseema. He said Rayalaseema leadership fell in the trap of Samaikyandhra which was meant for serving the interests of Coastal Andhra. The movement placed all demands relating to the region while Rayalaseema was neglected.