‘Statehood for Telangana looks a certainty’

Information Minister D. K. Aruna has said all members of the Cabinet, irrespective of the region to which they belong, should abide by whatever decision taken by the Congress high command on the Telangana issue.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy here on Thursday, Ms. Aruna said she and other Telangana Ministers were fully confident that the high command would take a decision to create Telangana State. If such a decision was taken, the Seemandhra Ministers too should respect it.

She said the people of Seemandhra and Telangana could live like brothers and sisters even after the State was bifurcated. “After all, it makes no difference even if a separate Telangana is formed. There will not be any problem to any person of any region staying anywhere after the decision.” She did not want to react to the reported threat made by Seemandhra Ministers to quit the Cabinet if the decision by the high command was to form a separate Telangana.

Civil Supplies Minister D. Sridhar Babu and Backward Classes Welfare Minister B. Saraiah also aired similar views, saying they were sure that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi would take the decision to create Telangana state.

Two Seemandhra Ministers, who earlier met the Chief Minister—T. G. Venkatesh (Minor Irrigation ) and E. Pratap Reddy (Courts & Justice) -- said those seeking Telangana State or cooperating with the parties making this demand were interested only the chair. Quoting the Srikrishna Committee report, they said it was Rayalaseema which was most backward and deserved a big push.

Mr. Venkatesh resented that some TV channels and newspapers were giving out truncated versions about the inner discussions among Seemandhra Ministers out of imagination. He denied having said that Seemandhra Ministers would resign if a decision was taken to divide the State. Mr. Pratap Reddy said once State was divided, those who did not like it were free to leave the party. Both of them said they would fight till the end for a unified AP.